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The Research Information Network: What is it and What Does it Do? Michael Jubb Cardiff, 11 May 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "The Research Information Network: What is it and What Does it Do? Michael Jubb Cardiff, 11 May 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Research Information Network: What is it and What Does it Do? Michael Jubb Cardiff, 11 May 2006

2 RIN Sponsors The four UK Higher Education Funding Councils England (HEFCE), Scotland (SHEFC), Wales (HEFCW), Northern Ireland (DELNI) The eight Research Councils Arts and Humanities (AHRC) Biotechnology and Biological Sciences (BBSRC) Central Laboratory (CCLRC) Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPSRC) Economic and Social (ESRC) Medical (MRC) Natural Environment (NERC) Particle Physics and Astronomy (PPARC) The three National Libraries British Library (BL) National Library of Scotland (NLS) National Library of Wales (NLW)

3 RIN Mission To lead and co-ordinate new developments in the collaborative provision of research information for the benefit of researchers in the UK all disciplines and subjects all kinds of information sources used by and produced by researchers (digital and non-digital) the research base both in the HE sector and beyond

4 What do we Mean by Research Information? Information Produced by Researchers Journal articles Monographs Reports Datasets Other outputs (software, performances, tools…) Information Used or Needed by Researchers Publications produced by other researchers (articles etc) Data and other outputs produced by other researchers Publications, reports and data produced by a wide range of individuals and organisations Manuscripts, artefacts, sounds, images

5 The UK Research Information Service Infrastructure A highly-federated and distributed system Like other parts of the research infrastructure, arguably an under-invested system Key players National and copyright libraries, especially the British Library Other major research libraries The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and its major service providers Data Centres such as those of the British Geological Survey, the European Bioinformatics Institute, the Arts and Humanities Data Service Publishers, with services such as Science Direct, Web of Science etc International connectivity Opportunities and challenges

6 Technological Change, E-Science and the Data Deluge Most of the information that most researchers produce and use is in digital form Expectation of immediate access and delivery to the desktop Heavy investment by Research Councils, by JISC, and by HEIs in e-science Forecasts that in the next five years, e-science projects will produce more data than has been produced in the whole of human history to date Can we sustain the necessary investment in change to ensure that we realise the full potential of new technologies?

7 Key Players in Developing the Infrastructure Funders and Policy-Makers Government Departments: DfES, DCMS, DTI/OST Funding Councils, Research Councils Major UK-level service-providers JISC, British Library, TNA Other public sector information/data services JISC service-providers (MIMAS etc), Research Council data centres, European Bioinformatics Institute……… Govt Departments and NDPBs: ONS, Ordnance Survey, Companies House, Museums and Galleries…. Research libraries and archives National Libraries of Scotland and Wales, The National Archives, specialist libraries and archives Universities and Colleges Copyright and CURL libraries, other university libraries, computing and information services Publishers and commercial aggregators Web of Science, SCOPUS, NPG, SWETS, CrossRef, Reuters………. Search engines Google, Yahoo, MSN, Exalead, And thats just in the UK…………..

8 RIN Strategic Aims: I To develop, with the active involvement of key stakeholders, a strategic framework for enhancing the UK research information infrastructure To ensure that the research community contributes to and collaborates in a programme of action tailored to its needs To act as an advocate for research information provision at the highest levels of policy-making in the UK, and to represent the interests of UK researchers in relevant international forums

9 RIN Strategic Aims: II To co-ordinate action to improve the arrangements for researchers to find information sources relevant to their work, and how they may gain access to them To lead the development of a programme to sustain and enhance management and development of the aggregate UK collection of published hard copy research resources To co-ordinate action to ensure that the outputs researchers produce and need are retained and made available for use in the most effective way

10 RIN Activities: Research Outputs and Digital Content Empirical study of the major funders of research and their policies and practice Research Councils, universities, major charities, Government Departments, industry Study to be completed by the end of March Work with JISC, BL and others on a co-ordinated framework of principles and best practice for the provision of online e- content For teaching and learning, for the cultural heritage, and for research Work with JISC, CCLRC, E-Science programme on framework of principles for the handling of data and access to it

11 Research Data Increasing need to manage and provide access to digital data, as well as formal publications Little consistency in policy and practice across major research funders and institutions Need to recognise different requirements that arise in handling different kinds of data from different sources Increasing international interest OECD, US National Science Board, Australian DEST Increasing need for guidelines and protocols

12 RIN Activities: Collaborative Collection Management and Storage Sustaining and building on what has been achieved through CoFoR and other initiatives Evaluation of CoFoR and scope for extension Development of the National Research Reserve proposal set out in the CURL/BL study on Optimising Storage and Access Focus on low-use material Permanent preservation Efficient, cost-effective and sustainable access Encourage disposals, to release space, and to avoid need for investment in additional storage

13 RIN Activities: Access Report on the RSLP Access Funding Scheme Further work on the impact of recent developments and initiatives, and how researchers are making use of them Support for SCONUL Research Extra Linkages with Inspire and UK Libraries Plus Relationships with M25 Expert group on walk-in access for members of the public to academic journals

14 RIN Activities: Resource Discovery OST-led E-infrastructure Steering Group Aim to produce a roadmap for developing the infrastructure for the support of UK researchers over the next ten years Context is the 2007 Spending Review Six sub-groups, one on search and navigation, led by RIN Consultancy study of researchers behaviour and perceptions in the use of resource discovery services and tools Preparation of a map of current services Telephone interviews with 450 researchers To be completed by mid-July Discovery services for library and archive holdings COPAC, SUNCAT, ZETOC, Archives Hub and similar services Workshop for key stakeholders JISC Review What are the priorities now in retroconversion?

15 RIN Activities: Scholarly Communications Work with key stakeholders from funding agencies, Government, libraries and publishers Impact of new technologies on all the key stages/functions in the scholarly communications process doing research and producing research outputs identifying and protecting intellectual property rights quality assurance and the peer review of research outputs presenting, publishing and disseminating outputs in both digital and printed forms providing access to quality-assured and authentic published outputs assessing usage and impact preserving and providing access to published outputs in both digital and printed forms, for the indefinite future Changing roles of the key players, and resulting tensions between them

16 Researchers and Libraries If UK is to sustain its position as the leading research nation outside the US, it needs a world-class research information infrastructure What role do libraries play in this? Researchers interest less in the collections of individual libraries, more in the information resources to which they can provide access Development of the hybrid library and archive, with print and digital resources Need for better understanding of how researchers are using libraries, and want them to develop how effective libraries are in providing services for researchers and in meeting their information needs

17 Challenge for the future To make the case for investment and co- ordination in developing a distributed information infrastructure that provides essential services for researchers

18 Find out more about the RIN at

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