May 232012

Atira PURE is a current research information system (CRIS) that has been adopted by around 20 UK HEIs. The UK PURE user group works closely with Atira to defined requirements and maintain a unified data model across all UK implementations. The user group met last week at The University of Aberdeen and was represented by several institutions who have JISCMRD projects. The pre-occupation of the meeting was in the present, with mock Research Excellence Framework assessments, but there was also discussion of the product roadmap and some interest for those with foot in the research data management camp.

CERIF2: PURE’s data model will be continually adjusted to match CERIF developments.

OpenAIRE Compliance: support for the OpenAIRE format will be added to PURE’s OAI-PMH harvesting interface.

PURE as a repository: a new player in the market? PURE currently supports ‘connectors’ to DSpace, ePrints, and Equella, so that research outputs originating in the CRIS feed through to an existing repository system.  Whilst making a clear commitment to maintaining these interfaces, Atira restated their belief that PUREPortal offers an alternative that could replace a traditional repository system in full. The best example of this is at Aalborg University. At University of Hertfordshire we maintain a DSpace repository, but our PURE CRIS is now the primary source for almost all our repository content. This a similar position to University of Edinburgh and several others. We have reasons for keeping DSpace at the moment, not the least because it is opensource and offers the opportunity to be hacked to try out new initiatives, such as publishing data. There are several new PURE repositories about to go live, mainly among Universities who do not have an existing public presence. It will be interesting to see if it continues to gain traction among those of us who already have systems online. I think they may struggle to penetrate further until the REF is concluded and everyone has time to breathe, reflect and address new projects. (RDTK is already experiencing inertia due to the REF, which is an overriding priority for researchers and administrators alike.)

PURE and Datasets: there was quite a lot of discussion about data, with two tangled – but with hindsight – distinct threads; the first about data as primary research output in the REF; and the other about the new imperative to publish data in support of traditional publications. The first thread came up when the meeting was considering how PURE currently expresses non-textual outputs, including physical art outputs, events, source code, and data.  This naturally drifted to a discussion about metadata, wherein I began to fear we would be mired for the rest of the meeting; but CERIF gurus rescued the day with timely intervention about the likely outcomes of Cerif for Datasets (C4D). By this route we arrived neatly back at the first point above. Atira have previously told me that they are waiting on the inclusion of a metadata model for data in CERIF, and will implement this when it arrives.  I pointed out that in order to fulfil their aspiration as a repository vendor they will also have to address more than just the metadata issues, for example, in the way that @mire have done with their media streaming plugin for DSpace. (As aside  –  @mire tell me the DSpace developer community is also taking a keen interest in C4D).

Data working group: the conclusion of these discussions was that a working group should be convened to report on data publishing issues at future UK PURE user group meetings. If anyone in JISCMRD who is not in the PURE user group would like to feed into this, then #rdtk_herts can facilitate.