euroCRIS meeting in Athens: Towards optimal Research information Infrastructures

The event is for researchers and others interested in research infrastuctures based on Information and Communications Technologies (CRIS, digital repositories and journals) or involved in management and dissemination of research and innovation.

This year’s euroCRIS Strategic Membership Meeting between the Strategic Partners of euroCRIS and the euroCRIS Community will take place in Athens 8th-10th November and will be held at the National Hellenic Research Foundation (Leonidas Zerbas Amphitheatre, 48, Vassileos Constantinou Avenue, Athens) in co-operation with the National Documentation Centre.

The event is for researchers and others interested in research infrastructures based on Information and Communications Technologies (CRIS, digital repositories and journals), or involved in management and dissemination of research and innovation (funding programmes, exploitation of research results, strengthening business competitiveness).

The theme this year is ‘Towards Optimal Research Information Infrastructures on a national and international level’. Particular attention will be paid to the progress of the European research information infrastructure and there will be a presentation of the state of initiatives and collaborations currently running within Europe and globally. The organisers believe that the theme is appropriate for the present times for a number of reasons.

Research information infrastructures are becoming more and more important for the various stakeholders and users of research and research information, be it the researchers themselves (for optimal exposure and discovery of their research and data), research managers (for optimal steering, monitoring and benchmarking), funders (for optimal evaluation of their investments), policy makers (as evidence bases underlying the development of strategy and vision), etc. All the above would benefit substantially from optimal, standardised, research information infrastructures.

On an international level, the initiative ‘European Open Science Cloud Initiative’, which was recently set up by the EU, aims to create an optimal research and data infrastructure on a European level. One of the conditions for success of this initiative is the so-called “FAIR-ness” of the data within the cloud, (“Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability”). The meeting will stress that the ‘FAIR’ aspect is interconnected with and inseparable from the optimal availability and management of research information metadata as is stored in CRIS and Repositories,

The relevancy of the theme is further illustrated and supported by another recent development on the European level, notably: the formulation by Science Europe (the international organisation of national funding agencies in Europe) of its strategic vision on research information interoperability and the role that CRIS can play in this respect. In this vision the importance of the creation of research information infrastructures on a national and international level is stressed using the ‘three pillars’ of interoperability: standard definitions of concepts, standard unique persistent identifiers and a standard exchange format.

Outside Europe, there are developments going on that might provide relevant  information and expertise in the field of research information which are also invaluable to the CRIS community. Good examples are the Repository Community and the Research Data Community, which have both been active globally for some time.

euroCRIS has already begun co-operation with Brazil and Columbia so as to develop a national research information infrastructure in these countries. The experience gained from this co-operation will be of interest to the broader international research community.

The euroCRIS Strategy Membership Meeting in Athens will be an ideal opportunity to discover the current, exciting and important developments in the area of CRIS.

Registration for the event is mandatory. It is free for euroCRIS members and local representatives, but costs 60 euros for non-members who may also attend the event.  With this fee they will automatically get a personal membership until January 1, 2017. Registration will close on November 1st, 2016.

The meeting will be followed, on November 10th, by a dinner to be held at Aigli, Zappeion. The cost of the meeting dinner is 45 euros and bookings can be made until November 1st, 2016.

Further information about the meeting, the programme and registration form can be found on the relevant website.

The importance of CRIS and EKT’s role at the international level

The use of Current Research Information Systems, CRIS, by academia and research centres has expanded in recent years, especially in the European Union. These systems are recommended by the European Commission as a basis upon which to build a major European infrastructure for the measurement of European research.

The systematic and standardised documenting of the research activities carried out by research centres forms the core of CRIS systems which document research activities using the standardised model Common European Research Information Format, CERIF. This is a well-established international standard which enables the semantic and chronological interoperability of a large number of research databases. The result of its use is the creation of an overall picture of the research activities of organisations and countries with emphasis on the documenting of research results (publications, patents, research data) and their connection with the environment within which they were developed ( researchers, organisations, funded programmes and projects, research infrastructures, services). CERIF has been developed by euroCRIS (, with EKT having played an active role as a member of euroCRIS since 1997, and as a Board member since 2009.

The National Documentation Centre has developed the Greek software platform CRIS, which will form the backbone of a national Greek CRIS infrastructure. This will incorporate individual systems which operate at academic and research organisations, while using a central accumulator operating within EKT premises. The development used pilots carried out by the Library and Information Centre of the University of Patras and the National Hellenic Research Foundation.

The CRIS software platform will be available, through EKT’s collaboration with the Hellenic Academic Libraries (HAL), at academic institutions which are members of HAL for the development of institutional CRIS systems. The platform, already available at 16 Universities and TEIs, will eventually be available for use by a wider range of active research stakeholders, such as research centres or public and private health organisations.

The development of the CRIS software platform and the national accumulator  CRIS for the Greek academic and research organisations is being carried out as part of  the National Information System for Research and Technology / Social Networks-User content project ( which is being implemented by EKT within the ‘Operational Programme-Digital Convergence’ (NSRF), co-funded by the EU ’European Union- European Regional Development Fund’., with information from euroCRIS, National Documentation Centre