On Fri Dec 2, 2022 the new euroCRIS 'National/Regional Research Portals' Working Group will be launched within the Autumn 2022 Strategic Membership Meeting in Nijmegen. The WG will bring together representatives from various national and regional CRIS in Europe and beyond to jointly discuss the workflows associated with these portals. The group will be coordinated by the Austrian RIS Synergy project team led by TU Wien. This team held a half-day workshop on this very topic at the CRIS2022 Conference in Dubrovnik last May, of which the international WG being launched now is a direct outcome.
Introducing the National/Regional Research Portals Working Group
A half-day workshop was held on May 12th this year at the CRIS2022 Conference in Dubrovnik called "The Do's and Dont's of of Building a Sustainable Portal" to explore the similarities and differences in the workflows followed by a number of national and regional CRIS initiatives when operating their research portals. The activity was jointly organised by the RIS Synergy project team in Austria and euroCRIS and a paper in the CRIS2022 Conference proceedings has now been published with the outcomes of the discussion.
The RIS Synergy project is a national initiative launched in March 2020 and funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research within a wider “Research Data Digitisation Cluster” (‘Cluster Forschungsdaten') programme. Led by TU Wien, RIS Synergy aims to bring together a number of universities and research funders in the country to carry out a concept study for a national Austrian research portal. Aware of the fact that plenty of these research portals are already available at a national and a regional level in Europe and beyond, RIS Synergy reached out to euroCRIS in Nov 2021 to seek support for the organisation of a CRIS2022 workshop where representatives of different national/regional CRIS initiatives would be able to compare the workflows, the areas of activity and the outcomes of their respective projects or platforms.
The main goals for this May 12th, 2022 session were first, to prevent the RIS Synergy project team from reinventing the wheel at a time when there are plenty of best practice approaches by operational portals already available out there. Second and perhaps more importantly, to promote a conversation across the 'family' of national/regional research portal teams that would allow them to learn from each other and compare their workflows with each other. Critically, although there had been frequent individual presentations by these projects at previous euroCRIS membership meetings and conferences, there had never been an opportunity for the growing number of such initiatives to jointly discuss their practices in the wider area of research information management.
The programme for the half-day workshop in Dubrovnik included presentations by and a round table discussion with representatives from the following projects and initiatives:
- RIS Synergy project (Austria)
- CroRIS national CRIS (Croatia)
- Hércules project (Spain)
- Data4R&I Policy project (European Commission)
- Research.fi national CRIS (Finland)
- Flanders Research Information Space (FRIS, Flanders, Belgium)
- CRIStin national CRIS (Norway)
- Catalan Research Portal (PRC, Catalonia, Spain)
It is as a follow-up from this successful first conversation among national and regional CRIS initiatives held in Dubrovnik that the National/Regional Portals Working Group will officially be launched during a specific session on Fri Dec 2nd, 2022 at the Autumn 2022 euroCRIS membership meeting in Nijmegen. Besides the initiatives featured on the Dubrovnik workshop, this new euroCRIS Working Group aims to bring together any additional national and/or regional CRIS initiatives that may consider it useful to join a forum to discuss best practices in the operation of these research portals*.
The plan is to hold quarterly meetings that all interested parties will be invited to attend. Working group participants are invited to prepare input in the form of questions, discussion points or presentations with regard to the thematic focus of each meeting. A number of early candidates have already confirmed their interest to join these conversations – these include CroRIS, Research.fi, FRIS, the Danish Research Portal, Hércules, the Israeli CRIS-IL, CRIStin, SK CRIS, the Estonian ETIS, the Ukrainian URIS, NZRIS in New Zealand and IRIS in Iceland, with further ones pending confirmation. Some of these initiatives will deliver in-person presentations within the Fri Dec 2nd session "An update on national CRISs" at the forthcoming euroCRIS membership meeting in Nijmegen.
The RIS Synergy project team will coordinate the working group in collaboration with euroCRIS. A presentation will take place on Friday morning before the SMM2022 session devoted to national CRIS in which the goals and collaborative workflows of this Working Group will be presented and discussed with the audience in the room. Plans are to set a date for a first call and a specific topic for it as part of this first in-person discussion. A number of topics are currently on the table – please see a non-comprehensive list below – that will allow the quarterly calls to be focused on a specific feature of research information management at a national/regional level so that the discussions are as productive as possible in terms of the exchange of good practices.
- Persistent identifiers (PIDs)
- CERIF-based interoperability: top-down & bottom-up
- Implementation of OpenAIRE Guidelines for CRIS Managers
- Promotion of a national/regional portal to different stakeholders/target groups
- National/regional research portals and funders
- National/regional research portals and research instruments and facilities
- Indicators arising from portals for research policy decision-making
- National/regional research portals and innovation
- Setup of operating models and service level agreements for a sustainable system
Both the RIS Synergy project team and euroCRIS would like this Working Group to be as participative as possible and will be open to suggestions on how to best run it within the discussion at the SMM2022 next week. We look forward to your input there!
* For expressing your interest in joining the WG please feel free to drop a line to the RIS Synergy project team at ris.workinggroup [at] gmail.com
Pablo de Castro, euroCRIS Technical Secretary and the RIS Synergy project team
The core RIS Synergy project team (left to right): Elena Fürst (U Vienna), Madeleine Harbich (U Vienna), Sabine Neff (TU Wien, project coordinator), Michael Greil (U Vienna), Ulrike Hicker (TU Wien), Vanessa Erat (U Klagenfurt)