The conference Digital scientific repositories: people, tools and directions of change. Tenth Anniversary of the Jagiellonian University Repository was an opportunity to share experiences related to repositories. Discussions covered both the issues of tools and systems, as well as the ideas of openness behind the creation of repositories.

The panel combining both perspectives was moderated by Piotr Masalski, Business Line Director of PCG Academia, and featured as speakers:

  • Michele Mennielli, International Outreach Representative, Lyrasis,
  • Przemysław Korytkowski, Ph.D., Professor, ZUT, Information Processing Center,
  • Tomasz Psonka, Director of Research Solutions in Central and Eastern Europe, Elsevier.

DSpace – open source software developed by a global community

Until two decades ago, open source software development was carried out by developers who wanted to realize their ideas in an open source model as a value in itself. Work was carried out without involving users or repository managers.

Today, DSpace is developed by a global community coordinated by Lyrasis. Within Community Led Programs, a group of governments – representatives of member institutions – make decisions on the development of the technology.

Along with them, several groups work on DSpace: an advisory board consisting of repository administrators around the globe, and national groups, or national communities. The Polish group was initiated and is led by PCG Academia, which is among the TOP4 contributors to DSpace code.

Feedback, ideas and requirements are collected from all groups. Goverments and advisory board groups then work on prioritizing the reported expectations and create a roadmap for DSpace development. With the map in place, the community starts working on new functionalities and other established development priorities.

The decision-making process is now shared by all members of the DSpace community. And it is in cooperation and participation that Lyrasis sees the future of open source, Michele Mennielli stressed.

The speaker encouraged people to join the community: not only to have a voice in deciding how DSpace will develop, but also to share case studies or get help from the community.

The collaboration of the global community has made the latest version of the system – DSpace 7 – the largest DSpace release ever, and has brought more changes than any version before.

Version 7 is also available on CRIS. The next release of DSpace 8 will be released this May and is expected to combine the functionality of the repository system and CRIS. Mennielli disclosed that this is the direction in which DSpace will be developed – both versions will be one software combining repository and CRIS functionalities. The role of interoperability will be key in this.

People of Science – opening data on Polish science

An example of openness – this time openness of data – on the domestic market is the People of Science portal created by OPI. Its goal is to reuse data collected for more than 10 years by universities and other scientific institutions from all over Poland.

These data have so far been mostly closed or not easily accessible, People of Science is instead an attempt to open them to the public. Prof. Przemysław Korytkowski stressed that the portal is intended to operate according to the principles of open government data, just like Geoportal, for example. Currently, the OPI is working on deduplication and linkages between data to make them available in the best possible quality.

As the speaker said, ultimately People of Science is to be not just a website, but a whole set of machine-readable interfaces. This will enable, on the one hand, universities to use the data in their decision-making processes, and, on the other hand, will simplify scientists’ applications for grants at different agencies without the need to constantly re-enter the same data.

The panelist noted, however, that a key condition is interoperability of systems. Universities collect much more data for their needs than is required for ministerial systems and use a variety of internal information systems. It is essential that the flow of data be automated, so that already collected data is exchanged between systems without additional work.

Interoperability and automation of data flow will only grow in importance: discussions are underway in the European Commission about creating a system that will aggregate national science data across Europe for comparative purposes and to promote cooperation.

Pure and Funding Institutional – how CRIS from Elsevier supports science management

The activities of Elsevier, a global leader in scientific information, are designed to support the research cycle at all stages. The clout of the company’s mission is to provide information that helps researchers and universities work more effectively.

One such solution is Pure, a CRIS-class system originally developed by Danish scientists and now distributed by Elsevier. Because Pure was developed by researchers, it responds well to the needs of the academic community.

According to Tomasz Psonka, about 45% of CRIS implementations worldwide are Pure systems. Recently, the first Pure implementation in Poland was carried out – the Silesian University of Technology decided to use Elsevier’s solution.

Silesian University of Technology had previously used another CRIS, but chose Pure for the sake of the university’s strategy. One of the Polytechnic’s priorities is internationalization, especially the development of international cooperation and raising funds from abroad. The university believes Pure will support it on the way to achieving its goals.

Pure’s system is distinguished by its Funding Institutional module, which aggregates more than 27,000 funding opportunities from more than 5,600 organizations in 70 countries. The module also collects data on awarded grants (more than 7 million), providing an in-depth view of funders’ offerings and scientific projects around the world.

Funding Institutional also allows you to search for grants tailored to the profile of a given researcher. In addition, the module assists universities in science management: it shows how much funding is available in grants for a given discipline and where the university has what chances of obtaining it.

Thanks to Elsevier’s tools, universities can consciously implement their science policy and development strategy.