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September 20, 2022
Research Information Management Systems (RIMS) and Current Research Information Systems (CRIS) are tools for understanding and measuring your institution’s research impact. These systems are most useful when the information fed into them is comprehensive and accurate.
In this webinar, we will demonstrate why a Figshare repository multiplies the effectiveness of a CRIS/RIMS and provide examples of integrations. We will also cover how the openly documented Figshare API enables integration with almost any research information reporting workflow or system.
Please note that the transcript was generated with software and may not be entirely correct.
Hello everyone, and welcome to the Figshare webinar today. I'm just gonna give it one minute, Some last few people to join, and then I'm going to share a little bit of housekeeping, and then I'll pass you over to our wonderful presenter, Andrew.
I'll just give it a few more seconds as people get logged on, and if anyone can't hear me in the first instance, please do put it in the chat, or the Q and A.
OK, so, let's kick things off. So, as I said, welcome to the webinar, which is how Fisghare integrates with and augments research information management systems. Got a really good presentation coming up from Andrew so I will just share the small housekeeping bits. So, all attendees are in listen only mode, but if you would like to ask a question or ask for some clarification, you can use the Q&A function, or, alternatively, you can use chat, and I'll be monitoring both.
If we don't get to all the questions in the event we get lots and lots, we'll be sure to follow up with you afterwards, because we'll have a record of who asked what.
and if you'd like to follow up with us directly, see Andrews details are on the screen view there, but anything you'd like to ask me is email@example.com, and I'll be able to forward it on as well. So without further ado, we'll move on into who you actually can see and kick off the webinar. So over to you, Andrew.
Thank you Laura, and again, as Laura said, I hope everyone can hear me but please put that in the Chat or Q&A if you have any audio issues.
So happy to be here and thank you all for attending or if you're watching this as a recorded video later, thanks for tuning in.
Before I jump into things, I just wanted to share that there is a recent webinar recording available on a very more specific aspect of all this.
So our digital science colleagues, Stephanie and Jessica gave a great 30 minute Webinar on specifically the integration between FIG share and the RIM system ... elements. So that this QR code or QR code here on the screen will take you there.
I hope, at some point, Laura will share the actual link. Because I know you may not want to watch the webinar on your phone with the QR code, but it's great and it goes into details of exactly how each system works and how we what each brings to the integration.
So, that's there, a more specific version of what I'm talking about today.
I am going to do a quick intro or introduction to the challenge of managing research information and outputs.
Then, I'll define some terms And then spend most of the webinar talking about how the picture augments room system, spend a little bit of time, talking about how fixture integrates with RIM systems and other systems.
And then that will bring us to right around 30 minutes.
Um, so, first of all, I actually borrowed this figure from that Webinar I just mentioned from Stephanie and Jessica.
The challenge of managing research information and outputs: is do, is covers a lot of different things. So, there is an administrative burden. Of course, because data is often siloed both within a university, but also, you know, externally. There is an interest in, in monitoring compliance with various policies, both institutional compulsory policies, and also, you know, funder and publisher policies.
There's an interest in recording diverse outputs, so things that are outside of and support published, journal articles, conference papers, and then, of course, there's their time and resource restrictions for everyone involved, from the researchers, to the librarians, to the research office.
So there are all these things that are adding up to all the complexity around managing research information and outputs.
And the, the solutions, as there is, one, we need a way to harvest. To duplicate display, and report on all the research activity.
Just being able to log all that. And that's traditionally the realm of CRIM/RIM Systems. And then there's also the need for a place to store files.
Especially, you know, open Access Papers, datasets, poster's reports, et cetera.
And it's especially important if you can do that in a findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-usable way. So that's the realm of the repository.
And then, we also need to think about the fact that there are multiple stakeholders here, which just adds more complexity.
So, the faculty and researchers are, of course, at the centre of all of this.
There are librarians, research office, among others, who all maybe want to want to be part of this, maybe don't want to be part of certain aspects of it.
So it can be very complex, and you may think, well, it would be nice if there was just one system that could do this.
Um, and that, you know, there's definitely exist. There are systems that combine Chris Froome functionality with repository functionality.
At this point, I kind of see those like a knife, fork combination, could be really good for a narrow scope use case. Or maybe for just one stakeholder.
But if you're trying to meet the needs of lots of stakeholders trying to gather research information from across your entire institution, on it, it may. It may work, and it may not work. It's up in the air. So, the solution that I'm going to talk about today, really is, is one where you have two systems, are Repository, and a CRIS/RIM system, and they work together to help you manage research, information, and outputs on campus.
And the benefit of this is, that you have and you can take advantage of the, what each system does best, and then each system makes the other one better.
So, first, defining a few terms, CRIS/RIM systems.
A CRIS is a current research information system, RIM is a Research Information Management System.
There is a report from 2021 from OCLC, specifically looking at research information management systems in the United States and they, they offer this definition here.
Research information management systems support the transparent aggregation, curation, and utilization of data about institutional research activities.
So that's the definition I'm going to use for this webinar and the US, is perhaps a little bit less mature, you know, CRIS/RIM Environment, because we don't have necessarily top-down like, policies around having to report on all of this for university. So, it's really up to the institution, how in-depth they want to go, and managing research information.
But in other parts of the world, this is a more mature thing.
Um, but hopefully, this webinar is going to be applicable to everyone. So it's really just going to focus on the repository side. But a few things about CRIS/RIM systems. And I guess I should say I'm going to try to use the term RIM, But I'm sure I'm gonna use both throughout the webinar.
So hopefully, as they're talking about the same type of thing, Institutions use these systems in many different ways. Maybe it's a narrow scope.
Maybe it's all of these use cases, but faculty activity reporting, US, you know, tenure and promotion. Maybe it's for a public portal, providing public access to the information, expert finding systems. Offering ways to report on information and help with decisions.
Metadata re-use, being able to, you know, use it across departments and in other systems.
Monitoring open access workflows and easing those workflows to make it easier to comply with institutional open access policy, and then then reporting on that compliance. So those are all the use cases. These bullets are, again, from this report here.
And these systems accomplish this through many different things. But here are a couple.
Big one is harvesting metadata from, especially external sources, but also internal sources to, you know, automate that, the gathering of metadata, records, and, and other information, maybe offering researcher profiles, internally and externally, offering a public search interface, and then offering lots of administrator tools to manage all the information, cleaning information, et cetera.
So, I think anyone, most people watching this probably know something about repositories, but the role of a repository is to store files and store those files with standard metadata schema.
Um, it's great if it offers some metrics for reporting view's downloads maybe more than that.
Then importantly, if a repository is going to be part of a ... system, it should provide access to the files and metadata for integration. So, you know, programmatic access, API endpoints.
On top of that, it's really great if the repository can help you make records, meet the fair principles, findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-usable. Most people think of the fair principles in relation to datasets, but really any digital research output should be shared in a fair way.
And a big, uh, you know, an example of something that's really important, is being able to provide DOIs, digital object identifiers or records so that they're ... and and re-usable into the future.
The other thing that's really great for repository to bring to the table is, is assistance in meeting open access policies and data sharing policies that might be coming from, know, the institution, or funders and publishers.
So, here's a diagram of an ideal or one ideal integration with between a repository and a RIM system.
So, you have the RIM system, and it's harvesting published records or other information from externally or internally, users, authors, admins, maybe creating records manually within the rim system That, that can be just a standalone thing. But then, you know, you're kind of limited to manually adding records and harvesting just what's, what's out there, what's available from external data sources. For example, the dimensions database or web of science.
If you add a repository into the mix, you can make your data much more complete, cross your institution.
The repository can hold all sorts of other research outputs, which then can be shown or are ingested into your RIM system, and added to researcher profiles. Ideally, you can use your RIM system for everything.
So authors and admins can can add things to the rim system, which will then add it to the repository, It can upload files, and all that stuff.
Um, but also, it's important that those authors and admins can also maybe use the repository directly, and then that information will then be sync with the ramp system. So, hopefully all the syncing and the upload process is under the hood.
People don't and shouldn't see that, really. It should be all automatic for you.
but this is kind of the ideal integration or ideal setup. So I'm going to talk about how Figshare as part of that setup augments and makes makes the RIM system work even better.
So this picture is a repository platform.
It is a great way to store files fairly and, and at a very high level, it makes them discoverable and suitable.
It has policy compliant infrastructure to meet the funder and publisher policies around, especially around data.
And that's becoming a very important use of Figshare repositories.
It also has a friendly, researcher interface which increases engagement. And this is important because it makes it easier for people to actually add records and files to the system. And you know, nobody has enough time anymore. So removing barriers, anywhere possible is really important. And then a fourth point is that Figshare has a 99.9% uptime.
So it's a reliable platform and I'm just adding this here because if you're going to integrate systems at a university, they should be reliable.
If one is failing all the time then is that is the system as a whole Is it reliable if one part is failing a lot?
I am going to go into a little bit of detail on these first three bullet points, but first, I'll just kind of give a summary of the benefits of these bullet points.
So when integrated with the rim system, you'll have a more complete data on view in your rent system across our campus.
You're easing compliance with policies and you're easing the reporting on that compliance.
And having a repository in connection with the RIM system, especially a fixture repository, provides higher visibility for your institution and researchers. So I'll go into a little bit of detail on on that right now.
So, Figshare store's any file and excepts any file type, even extremely large file sizes up to five terabytes. Although, you know, most people are going to be uploading something that's maybe a few hundred gigabytes.
Because of that, it can store any type of output, so, presentations, poster's, media datasets, open-x., papers, reports, et cetera.
And it does that with standard metadata fields. There are also custom metadata fields available for administrators to add.
And, really, importantly, it mints, suitable DOI's.
So, uh, then the public pages are discoverable and searchable, that's part of the fair principles. These records should be findable. They should be accessible.
And the result of that is that when integrated with the RIM system, you have a more complete research record, you're able to add reports, and datasets, and presentations that might not have anywhere else to live in the virtual world. You can add them to your repository. They receive a DOI. So they become suitable, then that information can be harvested into your RIM system and show up and researcher profiles.
Because these records then have a DOI and because they're discoverable and findable. It increases the visibility of your institution.
the repository, provides another access point to your your institution. A RIM system, also provides an access point. But, repositories, in some cases, maybe more discoverable, they can drive traffic to your, to your RIM system. Then, finally, again, because of the ... authors, and institutions, receive credit for all this research, that's supporting their published papers, their peer reviewed papers.
And that's all again because of the DOI.
So I should note that RIM/CRIS systems don't often have the capability to mint DOI's easily, and so that's, this is a major thing that a repository, especially a Figshare repository, can bring to a RIM repository integration.
Most people think of research outputs as Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. But, you can know that humanities, performing arts, visual arts, all have outputs that deserve to be shared in ways that are shareable, findable, discoverable, insightful, And so putting them into Figshare, to receive a DUI and have standard metadata associated with them, is really important, and can be a huge benefit to the researchers and the institutions. So here are a few examples of non traditional research outputs or outputs from disciplines outside the sciences.
Here's an example of a RIM system, or CRIS System. This is Elements also part of digital science. Figshare is also part of digital science.
Latrobe University uses elemtns, and it also uses Figshare as a repository.
So here we see an example of a profile.
There's a journal article, Theses, and then several research reports and these reports wouldn't necessarily have anywhere else to live but they are in the, uh, La Trobe's Figshare repository.
So they have a DOI in the metadata.
The information can be harvested into the into the RIM system and then people are able to find that. That report from the profile.
And just another example, Here's another profile from La Trobe with Research Data that's included in their profile. So, without a repository, this information could still be added to the room. But it might be a much more manual process and also, you know, it might be you might be getting the information from lots of different sources, other repositories, and having the having to manually added in here.
Whereas, if you can just add it to the Figshare repository, in this case Elements can just harvest that information and display it in the profile. So saves a lot of time.
Figshare is widely policy compliant, and I'm gonna really kinda focus on data sharing compliance here for funders. Data sharing policies, this image, from the Spark website, they list all of the policies that the US Federal agencies have.
These policies for data sharing are expanding.
Data sharing is becoming. And, I mean, really, is, as standard practice now.
Part of the scholarly communication space, it's not going away, and Figshare, as a platform, meets a lot of the characteristics that publishers and funders want.
So, for example, the NIH has a whole list of desirable characteristics for repositories that they'd like researchers, too, to make sure exist before they share Files in a repository.
Figshare basically checks all of those boxes, Except for the ones that require, you know, like human curation, but we make that possible through the review module.
So try and trying to make it as easy as possible for people to comply with their funder policies.
So, you know, and with datasets when no disciplinary repository exists, which is where researchers should always look first, Why send them to an external system?
Why send those outputs out where you won't be able to steward them as the institution, where you won't be able to maybe add them into a preservation system?
Use your institutional repository, you have much better oversight, and you can harvest that into your your RIM much more easily.
one last thing, Figshare as part of the Generalist Repository Ecosystem Initiative, a project funded by the NIH.
And the goal here is to bring together generalist repository platforms to work together, figure out ways to make all these systems work a little bit better together, and make it much easier for researchers. So Figshare is part of this.
We're adding features to the platform, many of them are, they're open source, uh, additions to the platform, so Figshare is staying current or part of developing the future of data capable repository's.
And so integrating a fixture repository with room system means that, um, you're going to have all the capabilities that you need going into the future.
So, uh, integrating with the room system means that you're going to ease researcher workflows around these, complying with data sharing policies, make it easier for them. They don't have to go look for a repository.
They can just use your repository and then that'll be reflected in the RIM system. Hopefully, it offers a way for the institution to curate records for more complete metadata, rather than having the researchers just do it themselves.
Librarians can help them make that metadata complete, and that will show up, then, as more complete, metadata in the RIM system, and it makes it easier to report on compliance with policies, Everything is, or, most things are all in one place. You don't have to go looking across third party platforms, and having lists you need to check, or something like that.
It's all just in your repository and part of your ecosystem, or research infrastructure.
So, the third thing is a researcher friendly interface, and the reason this is important is because researcher involvement in this process is essential.
Harvesting, peer reviewed manuscript, or peer reviewed publication metadata is, you know, perhaps one of the more easily done aspects of managing research information. The publishing publishers take care of getting the metadata available, playing a DOI, and all of that.
But it's all these other things that are important parts of research.
Whether they're, it's grey literature, reports, datasets, posters.
All of these things really require the researcher to help the institution know about them, and get them into a system, and in a format that can be put into a system for display and reporting.
And, um, a use case here is where the RIM system can't handle what the researcher needs to add to the system.
For example, many RIM systems allow, you know, can store some files, but they can't really handle large files. They're not really applying those DOI's.
So Figshare is great at handling large files.
So in this diagram over here on the right, if the, author needs to upload a very large file, they don't need to try to find a workaround. In the RIM system. They can just do it directly through the Figshare interface. Then that information will then show up in the RIM system.
Another use case here is working collaboratively.
So in this image down here, there's, this is the big share, kinda, private side, user interface, and there's this projects tab. This is a collaborative area.
Researchers can work together from rather internal or external for making their, their research outputs public for publishing them into the repository.
That's probably not possible in many RIM systems, but they can do that in the Figshare repository and then whatever is made public can be harvested into all those author accounts in the room system.
So, there are definitely benefits to being able to to allow the authors, the researchers, to have access to both systems.
It makes sense for them to use the RIM system, they can add information there, but sometimes they may need to use the repository directly and they can do that through the repository interface.
And so this means that it eases researcher workflows, gives them a lot of flexibility makes sure that they can do what they need to do and then the end result is you have more complete data in your RIM system, so uh quick couple of examples here Figshare has relatively easy metadata to fill out.
It's designed to be entered by Researchers, Figshare, started as a researcher focused platform, and we still offer free accounts for, for researchers to use, so it's relatively easy to fill out the metadata properly.
And Figshare can also integrate with all these researcher tools, GitHub gitlab
Here's this FTP, login information to upload those really large files, so making it as easy as possible for researchers to move information into the system, that might be, might be difficult otherwise if you just are using a remote system.
So, the last thing I just want to briefly cover is how Figshare integrates with other systems and specifically RIM systems and I am not an expert on these integrations.
But I want to point out how how Figshare makes this possible.
So, Figshare has a openly documented API.
It's two-way. So you can ingest metadata and files into the repository through the API endpoints, And you can also extract or harvest metadata and the files through the API as well.
So it provides the potential for a two-way flow of information with erm system, or maybe you just the one way, if you just need your room system to harvest information metadata from your repository, it's of course possible to, um, 1. one thing I always think about is how the user accounts are aligning, so important to be able to be able to de duplicate things, iterate rim system, being able to match records with right authors.
So, Figshare has multiple ways to create user accounts and profiles and its system.
So, in that can then be aligned with, with your RIM system. So, being able to talk with these systems is really important. Takeaway here is that Figshare wants to play well with others. We want to make everyone's lives easier. Not harder, we want to remove barriers to making research information as available as possible, and as easy to report on and and re-use as far as possible.
But I will mention that, you know, not all systems talk to each other. Maybe the RIM system you use doesn't have, it's very difficult to harvest from a repository or something like that. You can still export manually from Figshare into various formats and then reformat to upload into a system as well. So there's always that option.
We do have current integrations with to where we have integrated with two systems selected elements is the digital science version and as you might expect, Figshare has a really great integration with Elements. I mean this integration, both systems basically work together to make each other better.
It's two-way, so Elements, will harvest metadata from Figshare, do all the duplicate, de duplication work.
Researchers can deposit, metadata and files from Elements into Figshare. Then Elements also has a bunch of tools for like open access, monitoring and compliance to make to, to make the the repository records as complete as possible. And thus the elements profiles as complete as possible. So really powerful integration. And again, if you're interested in learning more about that, there's this great webinar that you can watch through this QR code. We also have, integrated with pure Elsevier's Pure system.
that integration is just the harvesting of datasets into Pure. We rely on, on those who use the Pure system to and want to integrate with picture to kind of offer the information needed to complete that, that integration. So that does exist as well.
Uh, so finally, quick summary, just keeping my eye on the time here.
Using Figshare with the RIM system, will increase the completeness of researcher profiles, Can track all these outputs that support peer review: papers of datasets, reports, posers, presentations, etcetera.
It eases the workflows to comply with funder publisher, institutional policies, and it eases reporting on that compliance. Because everything is in one place.
And it can increase the visibility of the institution and the researchers at that institution. There's higher discoverability of the outputs DOI's enable the re-use of the outputs and a citation of those outputs.
So, with that, I am going to end and just see if there are any questions.
I hope that this has given you and a high level overview of the benefits of integrating it, Figshare with, RIM systems, and I'll be happy to answer questions if there are any.
Thanks, Andrew. Yeah, we've had a couple. So the first one is, does Figshare offer an OAI-PMH interface?
Yeah, great question and that's part of the API documentation.
So if you just go to help.figshare.com, scroll down on the left side there is an OAI-PNH section, with information on what formats and sets are, are available.
Brilliant. Thank you. And the second one we have is, does Figshare assist with integrating with an RIM system?
Yes. So it all depends. If an institution is doing the integration themselves and they have like a question. They're like, why, you know, we need to know how this works on the picture side. That's, that can just be done through a support ticket. And we'll answer that question. If Figshare is actually assisting with the integration. Maybe it's part of implementation of the repository, depending on how complex that is. That we might have an added fee to help with that, but we, you know, our engineers will help figure out the integrations and do the crosswalks and all of that, so that is available.
Thank you. And, yeah, no more questions at the moment. But, like I said, it start, if you do think of anything afterwards, Andrew's contact details, I believe they're on the last slide.
So we just had 1 last 1 come through and to know. Does harvest public published records? Does this include research data metadata?
Good question and I think that you should view that other webinar. For the details there it does harvest.
It has a lot of harvesting capabilities. In terms of data harvest, other research data.
I'm not sure, I know it harvests from all that you know the major databases like dimensions and Web of Science.
But that would be a question for my Symplectic colleagues, will be we can happily put you in touch with them if needed.
Thank you and the last one will integration be possible with info ed.
Good question, I think that it depends if Info ed has ah a way to take information pulled from Figshare and add it in into info ed. So you know, are there APIs available?
Um, on the Figshare side.
So you know if we haven't developed specific integrations for many room systems. We leave it to institutions to do that if they need.
I don't think we've looked at info ed ourselves.
So the short answer is, if there is a, if there is an API in infrared that you can like.
Add information to F into the system through then it should be possible.
Brilliant, Thank you. So, that is all of the questions for today and the link to the Symplectic and Figshare webinar is in the chat if anyone would like to have a look at that, and, yeah, thank you all very much for joining, and thanks, Andrew, for your presentation.
Thank you, all.