Benefits for researchers and a comprehensive picture of the Finnish research

Notes from the executive group meeting on 19 March 2018

The development of the Research Information Hub is supervised and guided by two high-level groups appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture, namely, the Executive and Steering groups. The Executive group will, for example, decide on a developmental path, consider approaches to lighten the workload for the researchers and administrative staff, and identify the research administration information needs. It will also promote cooperation between actors. The Executive group meets three times in 2018. This year’s first meeting was held on 19th of March.

One of the main topics discussed in the meeting was how the researchers benefit from the Hub. How to identify and open up the accruing benefits for the researchers, when the final aim is to promote a more fluent flow of the already submitted information between all parties?

User cases and especially the benefits to the researchers have been described hereThe Hub (and its user interface) will provide researchers a platform to gain national level visibility for their research. However, the most concrete benefit for the researchers will most likely follow from the automated information flows. Researchers don’t have to report the same information several times to different systems anymore. For example, when a researcher is applying for a funding, the funding organization can retrieve the necessary information directly from the Hub. The Executive group asked for a more tangible presentation from such examples. From the researchers’ point of view, it would be also important that interoperability with the international research information systems should be taken into account when designing the Hub. Many researchers are already involved in several international information systems and the metadata should, therefore, be consistent.

Another point of discussion was to clarify, that once the Hub is in operation, we will have a possibility for a comprehensive picture of scientific research done with both public and private funds in Finland. This means that, for example, an official at the Academy of Finland who is drafting a policy, can find out which organizations have ongoing research in bioeconomics. This also means that research organizations themselves could self-evaluate their selected research activities against those of other organizations. Reliable, complete and up-to-date data would also be a valuable tool in decision-making. It could also work as a basis for statistics used by, for example, Ministry of education policymaking.  Special attention will have to be paid to the quality of the information provided in the metadata fields to reach the level of accuracy and reliability needed for solid decisions.

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