What is ROS?
ROS is a web-based system which collects data on the outputs, outcomes and impacts of research, such as:
- other research outputs such as new materials, exhibitions and websites
- staff development
- collaborations and partnerships,
- communication and dissemination activities
- summaries of impact.
How does ROS work?
ROS was developed in consultation with researchers, Research Organisations and funders to ensure it is quick and simple to use and minimises the burden of reporting as much as possible.
Users input data about their research which is collated by the relevant Research Councils and used in various reports and case studies to demonstrate the value of the research they fund. This is a requirement for every research grant issued by the participating Research Councils.
ROS can be accessed at https://logon.rcuk.ac.uk. Log on is with Je-S account details.
The benefits for users
Saves time and duplication of effort – submitting details to ROS takes 80% less time than through previous methods – just two minutes to submit details of a journal or book. A bulk upload option allows multiple outcomes for multiple grants to be inputted at the same time. Existing data can also be uploaded from Research Organisations’ own research information systems.
Can be used at any time – users can add information about their research to ROS at any time during the life of their grant and for years afterwards.
Input data once – information only needs to be submitted once, even if the grant is from more than one Research Council (that uses ROS).
Downloading reports – users can record the progress and quality of their research on an ongoing basis and download reports from ROS on their work at any time. Research Organisations can also request reports across their grant portfolio.
Choice of look-up options – adding journal articles and publications is quick and easy, with ISBN, ISSN and DOI search functions which can automatically update fields such as titles and publication dates.
Multiple users and central administrators can have access – several users can be nominated by researchers to have access to ROS. Some Research Organisations also choose to have a central point of contact to update information on all of their research grants.
Reporting requirements of other bodies - ROS also takes account of and, where possible, accommodates the reporting requirements of other bodies, eg the UK funding councils’ Research Excellence Framework (REF) and Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data returns.
Annual research collection
Although information can be submitted to ROS at any time, RCUK carries out an annual data collection exercise from January to March each year, asking users to update their information as much as possible. This ensures that ROS records are fully updated in time for our annual reporting requirements to Government.
Next steps for development
ROS is designed to be enhanced on an ongoing basis, so we can continue to improve how information is captured and ensure the system continues to meet the needs of researchers, Research Organisations and the Research Councils. We gain feedback from users on what improvements need to be made through the annual user survey, which is completed every autumn.
The following areas are currently being developed:
Linking ROS and ResearchFish – the developers of the two systems are currently working together to minimise the burden on researchers who have awards in both systems. We are currently refining these details but our aim is for researchers to only need to enter any piece of information once and for it to be shared.
ROS User Forum - this is being set up to facilitate dialogue between users and the participating Research Councils.
A range of activities to engage users with the system is planned as we approach the next annual data collection exercise.
For further information, visit our Contacts page to get in touch with the ROS team.