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OpenAIRE Guidelines for CRIS Managers release 1.1.1

For developers of CRIS platforms, the Guidelines provide guidance to add supportive functionalities for CRIS managers and users. Exchange of information between individual CRIS systems and the OpenAIRE infrastructure is an example of point-to-point data exchange between CRIS systems, since the OpenAIRE infrastructure itself is a CRIS system.

On December 20th, 2018, an updated version was released for the OpenAIRE Guidelines for CRIS Managers. The new version v1.1.1 can be found on ZENODO ( and on OpenAIRE ( The changes are basically small extensions and documentation improvements, so it is a micro version increment only.

This guideline development is based on the collaboration of various community-based groups including euroCRIS, the PURE UK User Group Short-Lived Working Group and DANS. It incorporates experiences and feedback that was gathered within the METIS2OpenAIRE project. We would like to thank you all for the good cooperation and look forward to future discussions. We also welcome feedback from the community on this updated version.

List of changes since 1.1.0

1. Digital Author Identifier (DAI) are added as a person identifier. (#49)
2. Multiple person identifiers of the same kind are allowed: where ambiguous or uncertain information is available, it should be listed in <AlternativeXXXX> elements (where XXXX is the identifier type). (#48)
3. Multiple parents of an OrgUnit are allowed in order to represent e.g. interdisciplinary research centres faithfully in the organisational structure of an institution. (#45)
4. The xmlns:cfprocess declaration was removed where it was not needed. (#43)
5. Upstream development of CERIF XML introduced changes in the includes/cerif-commons.xsd schema component.
6. Cached Schematron schemas are now taken from a more authoritative source.
7. Improvements of the documentation regarding: precision of date/datetime fields; regular expression constraints in the XML Schema; the DisplayName feature. (#47, #50, #52)
8. The official location of the XML Schema files is now at (#51)

Note: #number denotes the corresponding GitHub issue or pull request.

(1)–(3) are pure extensions.

(4)–(7) are neutral for the semantics of the metadata interchange.

(8) should be easy to incorporate in your software

The OpenAIRE CERIF information scope

Compared to the more descriptive, Dublin Core based metadata formats, CERIF has a wider scope. The OpenAIRE CERIF profile uses ten different CERIF entities to communicate the rich information context of research performed at an institution or funded by a funder. Let us take a quick tour:

Organisation Unit: to represent the institution itself and its organisational structure; to represent other institutions and their units, funders, publishers, etc.

Person: to represent our institution’s academic staff. Persistent identifiers of five different types are supported: ORCID iDs, Researcher IDs, Scopus Author IDs, ISNIs and DAIs (Digital Author Identifiers).

Service: to represent the CRIS itself.

Equipment: to represent equipment that is used in projects or for production of datasets.

Event: the conferences/workshops/seminars/… the institution has organized or the institution’s staff has attended.

Project: the research projects, esp. those with third-party funding.

Funding: to represent funding programmes, calls and individual project funding (grants, awards, contracts).

And of course research outputs, or “results” in CERIF parlance:

Publication: text based scholarly publications or publishing channels.

Patent: patents at various phases of the patenting process.

Product: other products of research, most notably research datasets and research software.

Full CERIF has 15 other entities, but they are outside the OpenAIRE information scope. However, we mustn’t leave out the most important bits that records the rich context: a publication is linked to the internal authors or editors, a project is linked to the publications and datasets it produced, to the project consortium members, and so on. These are the links between the entities listed above. This illustrates the general idea euroCRIS has been disseminating since its foundation: research information is a fully connected graph consisting of nodes of various kinds and links between them, also of various kinds.

What comes next?

The standard is in place, updated. There is a prototype validator and already a few CRISs with compliant OAI-PMH endpoints. OpenAIRE is working on the integration of CRIS in the content provider dashboard and the aggregation routines.

This blogpost is authored by Jan Dvořák <> and the UNIBI team, especially Andreas Czerniak <>

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