In the OCLC Research report Research Information Management in the United States, we described six high level use cases that can be supported by RIM systems. One of these use cases was “Strategic reporting and decision support.” This use case was the topic of a recent webinar hosted by the Expert Finder Systems International Forum community. I encourage you to watch the presentation for all the details, but I’ll provide a high level summary of the great presentation by the three panelists who shared specifics on how they are supporting institutional reporting needs with their RIM systems:
- Jason Glenn, Principal Systems Analyst, Carnegie Mellon University Libraries
- Joan Kolarik, Manager, Library Integrated Technology Systems, Drexel University Libraries
- Michelle Hutnik, Director, Research Analytics and Communications, Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, Pennsylvania State University
Custom reports and visualizations support campus goals and competitiveness
At Carnegie Mellon, the library manages the Symplectic Elements RIM system. On a decentralized campus, the library is seen as a central, agnostic campus unit that can provide sustained leadership for long term projects. Library experience with publications metadata and system administration also make it a logical project home. Like many RIM system implementations, the CMU Elements project has taken a phased approach, implementing one college at a time. Jason described how this process has exposed reporting needs as new audiences realize that a centralized registry of campus research outputs can answer questions that couldn’t previously be addressed and to simplify campus processes. In response, the library has established a reporting & visualization team to create standard reports from Elements data. For example,
- Elements data can now be used by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholar Development to support students as they compete for prestigious national and international fellowships. How? By more quickly identifying faculty experts who can serve as committee members or proposal reviewers.
- The library is also developing a Tableau dashboard to support the Sustainability Initiative at CMU, which will facilitate understanding of CMU’s research contributions and progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Understanding the ROI on facilities and equipment
Penn State University has been using the Pure RIM system since 2017 to support reporting and expertise discovery. Today the database includes nearly 5500 researchers, 247,000 research outputs, 482 research units, 6127 grants, and more than 242 pieces of equipment. Why equipment? Michelle described how the institution is interested in demonstrating the return on investment in Penn State’s research, specifically by discovering which publications (and researchers and their collaborators) used a specific facility or piece of equipment.
- Penn State is beginning to use RRID persistent identifiers for equipment such as the CryoEM and CryoET Biomedical Core Facility that provides molecular imaging technologies. It’s fascinating to look at the profile page for this facility, as it shows the publications, citations, and even a visualization of “fingerprint” terms that are created by text mining within the Pure system.
- Even more impressive is the proof of concept work on the Titan3 electron microscope, where Penn State has been able to demonstrate that this resource resulted in more than 100 publications by 82 Penn State researchers with at least 36 international collaborators from 16 different countries. And this is just the start. In the future, Penn State wants to also link this data to grants as well as doctoral dissertations.
The Penn State Research Portal is just a part of a multi-platform RIM ecosystem at Penn State; you can learn more by reading the case study of institutional efforts in Part 2 of the Research Information Management in the United States reports.
Supporting open access compliance monitoring
Compliance monitoring of any kind–including for open access mandates–has not been relevant in the US, but that’s likely to change soon, given the recent OSTP public access memo requiring the immediate open access of publications and data resulting from federal grant support. The failure to comply with an open access mandate potentially risks economic losses for the investigator and the institution, and I anticipate that US institutions may soon follow the path of European institutions that are using RIM systems to track compliance with OA mandates.
Joan Kolarik described how, in addition to providing a registry of an institution’s scholarly output, a RIM system provides metadata fields–such as a link to the open access version, the OA type, and license–that can be used for grant compliance monitoring, APC monitoring, and usage reporting on OA vs closed access resources. Once grant information is also in the system, it can support proactive reporting, so the library can report the list of articles associated with the grant and monitor the OA status. This is something Drexel is looking at for the future.
Developing a RIM community of practice in North America
This webinar was part of a series hosted by the International Forum on Expert Finder Systems, and it’s an effort to share information and bring together a wide array of stakeholders interested in RIM practices, particularly in North America. This is a young effort driven by energetic steering committee, and I have the privilege of serving as the program chair. I encourage you to join the EFS community mailing list to learn about upcoming activities, and I also invite you to join us in April 2022 for a two day conference in sunny Florida. The program will be announced soon, and I hope I see you in Miami.
Rebecca Bryant, PhD (she/her), previously worked as a university administrator and as community director at ORCID. Today she applies that experience in her role as Senior Program Officer with the OCLC Research Library Partnership, conducting research and developing programming to support 21st century libraries and their parent institutions.