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Future researchfish ® enhancements and interoperability


Many research organisations have commented on the need for better interoperability with the research information systems used by ROs. Specifically they have expressed a desire for functionality that will enable them to automate data input into researchfish.

Bulk upload is currently not available, and many issues to do with data quality and duplication were introduced by the previous bulk upload system via spreadsheet to ROS, the previous system for collecting research outcomes used by a number of Research Councils.

As universities increasingly wish to track some of the same indicators of progress, productivity and quality, it is important that universities and funders work together to find ways to collect information from researchers once and then allow this information to be re-used widely.  The exchange of information between universities and RCUK systems, primarily researchfish ®, is a topic of interest to both universities and Research Councils.

Half of the output reports from RCUK funded research are reports of publication outputs, and with unique identifiers for papers it should be practical to move this information between systems.  For funder systems to accept data there is a requirement for publication information to be linked to a valid grant reference number. It is also critical to the Research Councils that allowing interoperability does not reduce the overall volume or range of outcomes reported to them

Interoperability Trial – November 2015 update

RCUK and six universities (Universities of Cambridge, Bristol, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Imperial College) have planned to trial the transfer of some publication data from the HEIs’ information systems to researchfish. Researchers will still be required to enter details of other publications and all other research outcomes into researchfish and submit their return as complete and accurate during the annual submission period.

The trial may be extended in a second phase in 2017 and any further development or expansion will depend on whether the trial provides sufficient benefit to researchers, universities and funders.

The Research Councils will continue to sendeach RO a complete set of the data submitted by their staff after each submission period.  The RO can then import this data into an internal research information system, if it wishes. A full researchfish RO dashboard is an additional option available through an annual subscription, this also enables an RO to download data submitted by staff from the researchfish system at any time – view the researchfish website for further information.

Other Items Under Consideration Or Underway

  • Unified publications look ups - “mega search” functionality which scrapes metadata on papers from a number of repositories automatically. 
  • Lookup capability for clinical trial registries (ICTRP, EUDRACT, ISCRTN, UKCRN)
  • Patent lookup capability
  • Tools for Centre organisation and reporting (currently in pilot)
  • Bulk and Centre Grants functionality
  • Publication uploader identification (by award holders or via bulk upload)

Make a suggestion

Funders and individual PIs alike are invited to put forward ideas for future enhancements. The “Make a suggestion” form is available from any of the help popups within researchfish. Ideas will be discussed, prioritised and may feed into the researchfish future development roadmap.

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