Current Research Information System (CRIS)
Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU), in cooperation with ten other Hessian partner universities in the 'HeFIS Network', as well as with support from the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and the Arts (HMWK), is introducing a current research information system (CRIS). Current research information systems are web-based database applications that amalgamate information on research activities of a university as well as any other applicable contextual information. JLU is functioning as a pilot institution for the introduction of a CRIS at Hessian universities with the phased introduction of one here.
In 2013, JLU started founding the HeFIS Network. Since then, HeFIS project leadership and overall coordination has been located at Justus Liebig University Giessen.
What information is research information?
Research information is metadata needed by the research management of a university in order to handle administrative processes and write reports on research performance according to Hessian collegiate law and collegiate statistics law.
At a university, research information in the following areas is generated and processed:
- Research projects
- Doctorates and post-doctorate qualifications
- Prizes and awards
- Research priorities and collaborations
- Committee activities
- Other academic activities
At JLU, information on research projects, publications, and - later on - doctorates will soon be collected digitally in the CRIS, with an optional expansion into additional areas as the project progresses.
At the moment there are parallel developments to standardize research reporting and provide necessary research-related data at both the European level with 'CERIF' and the federal level with 'Core Dateset for Research'. Justus Liebig University along with the partner universities in the network will implement the Core Dataset for Research in project phase HeFIS 2. The university is currently involved in the German-wide discussion on further developing the Core Dateset for Research.
What is a CRIS for?
The functionality of integrated current research information systems is based on the idea that already existing information can be linked together and maintained in this connected relationship. Maintaining linked information ought to simplify and harmonize research management processes for researchers and make administrative decision-making processes more transparent. This is guided by the fundamental idea to "record it once, use it repeatedly."
In this way, the CRIS functions as a database and a working tool for administrative processes that deal with research. Moreover, it can be used to generate reports that researchers or the faculty administration have to write on a regular basis according to Hessian collegiate law and collegiate statistics law.
Once the CRIS has been filled with data and established as a working tool for the university, the question of whether an interface can be added to the internet will be addressed. This interface would allow information gathered in the CRIS to be displayed voluntarily on the personal websites of the researchers.
In order to implement this project, the quality of currently available data on personnel, research projects, publications, and doctoral studies will be analyzed. This already digitalized data could be acquired from other systems. By linking the databases, changes to data sets can be made across all systems. In this way an increase in data quality will be achieved.
Integrated research information systems have a detailed system of user roles and rights and various visibility levels for the data. This ensures that only those who are part of the administrative process will be able to access relevant data. This will guarantee that the CRIS conforms to data protection regulations.
Justus Liebig University uses the CRIS product 'Converis' from the software company Clarivate Analytics. Converis was purchased jointly in a coordinated proceeding for the Hessian universities in the HeFIS network. It is a web-based tool.
Here you can see a sample starting page of the system at Justus Liebig University Giessen from the perspective of a researcher.
Soon you will be able to find more information here on the project plan for introducing the CRIS at JLU. If you have any questions, please contact us at the address listed in the top right.
Additional information and links
- Website of the HeFIS Network
- Information on Converis5
- Homepage of the European Organisation for International Research Information (euroCRIS)
- Newest version of CERIF
- Website of the German Council of Science and Humanities on "core data set research"
- German Council of Science and Humanities (2013): Recommendations for core data set research (Brochure 2855-13). Berlin, 25 January 2013
- Position paper of DINI AG FIS: Forschungsinformationssysteme in Hochschulen und Forschungseinrichtungen (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.14828)
- Kendra Sticht (2015): Ergebnisbericht. Einsatz von Forschungsinformationssystemen an Universitäten und Hochschulen mit Promotionsrecht in Deutschland - Verbreitung und Nutzen (Source: https://zenodo.org/record/13841)