DRIS+ Project: Enhancing the euroCRIS Directory of Research Information Systems (DRIS)

The purpose

newsletter april 0004 eurocrisThe main purpose of the DRIS+ project was to implement a mechanism for the remote automated sharing of the metadata description for the CRIS records available in the euroCRIS Directory of Research Information Systems (DRIS) at https://dspacecris.eurocris.org/cris/explore/dris. This was achieved via a REST DRIS API at https://api.eurocris.org/dris/entries. As a result of this improvement, further CRIS entries should be willing to be added to the Directory, a process that has indeed been taking place. See figure below.

dris graph1

The value of the DRIS API

The DRIS API will help streamline the process for CRIS identification, validation and harvesting by OpenAIRE so that they may become certified data providers alongside literature and data repositories. By enabling the OpenAIRE Provide module to automatically retrieve specific CRIS system metadata stored in the DRIS the process will become much more effective.

dris graph2.png

The process

Right now individual CRIS managers who want their system to be test-harvested as a potential certified data provider by OpenAIRE need to directly contact the OpenAIRE Team at the University of Bielefeld – a process that usually happens via euroCRIS. This procedure will cease to be scalable as the number of CRIS systems technically ready to get test-harvested increases, and this is where a DRIS API as a too for remotely getting the required information for these systems will make the direct contact unnecessary. The DRIS API has been designed and implemented so that the required information on a specific CRIS system can easily be retrieved in an automated way.

The result DRIS API

The DRIS API exposes the relevant metadata for a specific CRIS system hosted in the DRIS to any authorised external user. This would primarily be OpenAIRE, but may also be valuable information for national research information management offices or CRIS vendors aiming to provide a snapshot of the available CRIS infrastructure for a specific country or software solution. An example of the DRIS API feed is shown in the figure below.

The solution is available at: https://api.eurocris.org/dris/entries

dris graph3jpg

User groups and the impact of DRIS API to them

The main expected user for the DRIS API is the OpenAIRE Provide module, that will be able to automatically retrieve identification and descriptive CRIS metadata from the DRIS. Other potentially interested users (this is currently being explored) are national research information management offices and CRIS vendors willing to automatically provide a snapshot of the CRIS infrastructure available in specific countries or for specific software solutions. The associated increase in the number of DRIS entries should be valuable for the Open Science community as a whole and specifically for policymakers at a national and international level.

The application domain of the DRIS solution

The solution will operate in the area of research information management and the OpenAIRE Research Graph. Due to the wealth of contextual metadata stored in CRIS systems it is expected that a regular harvesting of their metadata feed by OpenAIRE will much improve the quality of the OpenAIRE Research Graph, which will in turn greatly benefit services like the OpenAIRE Literature Broker.

Sustainability of the DRIS

As part of the DRIS+ project the euroCRIS DRIS has not only been provided with a REST API, but also with a set of badges to mark CRIS systems already harvested by OpenAIRE and those that store research datasets or their associated metadata as part of their contents, see an example in figure 4 below. These features are expected to gradually keep expanding as new CRIS systems become certified OpenAIRE data providers, and euroCRIS commits to maintain and to keep growing the DRIS together with these specific features. At the same time, the project outcomes will be disseminated to the CRIS community as part of the events regularly held euroCRIS, both in-person – when this becomes again possible – and as online webinars.

dris graph4

Related OpenAIRE Products/Services

OpenAIRE PROVIDE
As shown in figure 1 above, the DRIS API provides the missing piece in the puzzle for enabling CRIS systems to become certified OpenAIRE data providers.
OpenAIRE ResearchGraph
The information held in the wide CRIS network should greatly improve the quality of the OpenAIRE ResearchGraph as soon as the full metadata feed provided by these systems becomes part of the OpenAIRE aggregation.

Requirements

In order to prevent potentially unsafe CRIS metadata exposure to any external stakeholders, a basic authentication mechanism has been built into the DRIS API. This means that in order to be able to retrieve specific bits of information the user needs to be authenticated. Potentially interested users of the DRIS API such as OpenAIRE are being asked to contact euroCRIS in order to request their login details.

There are plans to withdraw this besic authentication requirements as CRIS managers are trained in order not to share any potentially sensitive information as part of their metadata exposure to external stakeholders. The remaining features produced by the DRIS+ project have no access constraints whatsoever.

Training, Manuals, Helpful material

Team

The team members that worked on the DRIS+ project are:

  • Jan Dvořák, euroCRIS Board Member of CERIF TG Lead – DRIS+ Technical Lead
  • Pablo de Castro, euroCRIS Technical Secretary – DRIS+ Coordination
  • Riccardo Fazio and Luigi Andrea Pascarelli, Developers at 4Science – Technical implementation work on the euroCRIS Dspace-CRIS
  • Contact person: Pablo de Castro, euroCRIS Technical Secretary

Acknowledgements

euroCRIS acknowledges the funding and additional logistic support received from the OpenAIRE Advance project and Corallia (Athena RC) within the OpenAIRE Open Innovation Call. Special thanks go to the OpenAIRE Team at the University of Bielefeld for helpful discussions.

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funding from the European 
Union's Horizon 2020 Research and
Innovation programme under Grant
Agreement No. 777541.

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