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Webinar “NARCIS PID Graph - PID graph of the Dutch research landscape”


Connecting and enriching information in the national portal NARCIS

The National Academic Research and Collaborations Information System (NARCIS) hosted by Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) is a portal that collects and disseminates information about scientific work in the Netherlands. Within the EU-funded FREYA project, the use of persistent identifiers (PIDs) in NARCIS has been extended and innovated to connect and integrate research information making it more visible to the user. On Thursday the 9th of April DANS hosted a webinar on the NARCIS PID Graph, presented by Ricarda Braukmann and Chris Baars.


NARCIS offers a range of information such as (open access) publications, datasets, research projects, scholars and research institutes in the Netherlands. OpenAIRE harvests the metadata of publications and datasets in NARCIS, as NARCIS is the national focal point for scientific information in the Netherlands.


NARCIS already contained a lot of PIDs associated with the different entities in the portal, but through the FREYA project, the PID information in NARCIS was enriched. For instance, research organisations in NARCIS can now be uniquely identified through a research organisation identifier (ROR). In addition to adding new PID types to NARCIS, DANS also worked on connecting PIDs in a NARCIS PID Graph, linking existing information and making it visible to the user of the portal.

The NARCIS PID graph 

Although NARCIS already covers a lot of details about the Dutch research landscape, other external portals also contain relevant additional information. ORCID for instance, who provides a PID for people, contains openly accessible information about researchers and their publications. DANS has been working on a technical implementation allowing NARCIS to collect the information related to a given person from ORCID and compare it with the available information in NARCIS. In this way, publications in NARCIS can be linked to a researcher if the link is known in the ORCID portal but was not yet known in NARCIS itself (see Figure).

Figure: Schema showing how the NARCIS PID Graph discovers relations. 

Before the PID Graph was implemented in NARCIS (left), some relationships were not yet visible. In this example, a researcher has written two publications, but NARCIS only knows the connection to one of these publications. In the external portal of ORCID, however, this relationship is known. The NARCIS PID Graph is able to collect this external information using the ORCID PID (right). This enables NARCIS to create the link between the researcher and their second publication. Enriched information through the PID Graph is marked by the blue PID Graph symbol in NARCIS.

Similarly, using PIDs, NARCIS has made a connection to the webservice showing extra information about open access versions of scientific papers, available elsewhere in the world. Moreover, information from Altmetric, a webservice collecting information about the online impact of papers or datasets on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, is now available in NARCIS as well. See for example the publication From Diversity to Coordination: A European Approach to COVID-19 (Pacces, A.M., Weimer, M., 2020) from the University of Amsterdam. At the bottom, you can find the Altmetric icon, followed by the number of references in Altmetric, in this case, a blog post and tweets.

The NARCIS PID Graph also allows the collection of results from specific research projects. A pilot project was done with a local university and the Dutch national funder NWO to link all research output for a large project called "Language in Interaction".

The NARCIS PID Graph is being developed further to allow different ways of collecting, connecting and enriching the information shown in the portal. The use of PIDs is of great importance to reliably create the correct connections between scientific outputs. Once PIDs are systematically integrated into the metadata of digital objects and provided to service institutes like DANS, more and more possibilities arise to show research information in context.

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