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Homepage / System overload! Which research systems do I really have to use?

System overload! Which research systems do I really have to use?


Text saying "don't panic"

Ever felt frustrated that there are just too many systems out there and you haven’t got time to learn or use all of them? Hopefully this quick overview will help ease your pain!

CRIS. This is Cranfield’s Research Information System where you should upload all your formal publications (articles, conference papers, etc) so we can preserve them long-term. CRIS can only be used internally, but the materials themselves are then made available publicly through CERES. Support: Contact the Library (who will add the metadata to CRIS for you to minimise your workload, so you really just need to upload the file/s).

CORD. This is Cranfield’s Online Research Data repository, which can hold any supporting material to your formal publications and similarly assures long-term preservation. Its primary function is to store research data outputs that directly underpin publications with RCUK or EC funding, as these funders require us to securely preserve and catalogue those outputs. Support: Contact the Library (and particularly our Research Data Manager who will help upload datasets as well as offering training and advice).

Researchfish. This is for reporting to RCUK councils on the outputs from your RCUK-funded research projects. You don’t upload the outputs themselves, but provide information about each. If you’re a PI on an RCUK project, you will be contacted by Researchfish with details on how to complete your entry. Further guidance is available from RIO. Support: Contact the Research and Innovation Office (see intranet advice on Researchfish).

ResearchGate. This is an external social tool for the academic community (non-academics generally can’t sign up), that can be very useful for networking and promoting your work. However, whilst it also allows you to upload materials such as articles or datasets, this is risky: it is a commercial service subject to change, charging, or cessation, and depositing materials here is generally not compliant with funder or publisher policy.

ORCID. It is now University policy for you to register and use an ORCID (an Open Researcher and Contributor ID). It is a personal identifier that uniquely distinguishes you and your work as a researcher, avoiding any confusion in grants, authorship etc. Using the ORCID system is a great central place to manage all your publications and other outputs, as it integrates with many other systems to automate data transfer and sharing (eg CRIS and CORD). It’s also independent, so if you move institution, nothing changes on your ORCID account. Support: Contact the Library (which can help you set up your ORCID and link it to other systems for/with you).

So, remember to put all your publications into CRIS, any supporting material that must be preserved into CORD, and report on your RCUK projects as required via Researchfish. And get an ORCID account to simplify your life when the next system comes along!


Image by Quimby, CC-BY-NC-SA

Written By: Georgina Parsons

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