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JISC and UK Research Councils to Make UK Research Output Visible

London, UK JISC and the UK Research Councils have announced a plan to build a robust repository infrastructure for the future to track the UK's research outputs.

Over the coming months a piece of work called the RIO Extension project will take place to scope the issues and requirements from universities, funders and researchers in managing the information about research outputs. The aim of the work is to provide the UK education and research sector with clear, practical guidance on recording and sharing information about its research outputs, so that it can be reused for a variety of purposes, including by the systems used by the Research Councils.

Neil Jacobs, JISC's digital infrastructure programme director, says, "The UK research community punches well above its weight in terms of the quality and quantity of research outputs.  However, these are not systematically recorded, so it can be hard to demonstrate that impact.  Researchers, universities and funders have a common interest in ensuring that the outputs from UK research are visible, and that this is achieved without putting undue burden on the sector.

"This can be done using both institutional repositories and more sophisticated research information systems but, in either case, it is important that these interoperate effectively with the systems operated by research funders and others. The RIO Extension project will describe a roadmap for the sector to achieve that."

Four of the Research Councils are shortly to launch the Research Outcomes System, which will be the primary means by which these Research Councils will collect this kind of information. JISC is supporting the creation of this service by ensuring that it works effectively and efficiently with institutional systems, including the UK repository infrastructure.  This flexible and community-owned infrastructure is well suited to meet the demands of the 21st century research community.

Dr. Sue Smart, Chair of the RCUK Research Outcomes Project, comments, "With this clear and practical guidance agreed for the research community and Research Councils to use, we can work together to significantly lessen the burden on institutions and organisations wanting to collect this data."

The RIO Extension project is also part of a larger programme of work scoping and delivering shared repository and curation infrastructure services at a national and international level.  This work supports the strategic requirements of universities, colleges, JISC and the Research Councils to build a robust repository infrastructure for the future.  It also contributes to the aspirations of the UK Open Access Implementation Group's 2012 strategy.

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