What is a CRIS?
A Current Research Information System (CRIS) - also called Research Information Management System (RIMS) – is a database (or other information system) to store and manage data about research conducted at an institution at any given time.
The scope is to provide researchers, managers and administrators, funders and decision makers, with a solid knowledge of the research activities, their outputs and results to inform institutional strategies.
CRIS systems are very useful to evaluate and find new funding opportunities, avoid duplication of activities, analyze trends, reference to full text or multimedia scholarly publications, locate new contacts and identify new markets for products of research.
The typical outputs of a CRIS are: researcher CV, management information, reports to funders, research bibliography and commercial output reports.
What is DSpace-CRIS?
DSpace-CRIS is the first open-source extension of DSpace for the Research Data and Information Management ever developed.
Differently from other (commercial) CRISs, DSpace-CRIS has the institutional repository has its core component, providing high visibility on the web to all the collected information and objects.
It is a specific extension of DSpace: it broadens its functionalities and expands its data model while relying on its large Community. DSpace-CRIS is compliant with many international standards (as CERIF, IIIF) to facilitate interoperability and data transfer.
The main characteristic of DSpace-CRIS is its flexible data model that allows you to collect and manage research data and information typical of a CRIS system.
The DSpace-CRIS’ Vision: Publications are an important component of the research lifecycle: they create links between scholars and they support research administrators in the measurement and decision making processes. However there are many other equally important entities in the research ecosystem that need descriptions and tracking, such as projects, grants, patents, organization units, researcher profiles (people), etc. Integrating and contextualizing all these entities along with publications, creates great value for each of those entities in terms of visibility, discovery and the understanding of the complexity of the research domain. Nowadays, the most common definition for such integration is “Current Research Information System” (CRIS)
DSpace-CRIS enables the ingestion, storage, display and management of metadata and fulltext of all the above mentioned research entities. This module produces a smooth integration between native DSpace items (publications) and other CRIS entities. All entities can then be linked to each other using autocomplete/lookup functions in the submission/edit phase and/or the inter-navigation in visualizations.
History and maintenance: Two DSpace Committers, Andrea Bollini (4Science) and Luigi Andrea Pascarelli, are also actively involved in the development and maintenance of DSpace-CRIS. It was originally developed at Cineca as a project funded by the Hong Kong University, then the team moved to 4Science, committed to continue working on it. It is hoped that the features implemented in DSpace-CRIS might eventually qualify as contributions to the enrichment and evolution of DSpace.
Latest stable version of DSpace-CRIS: 5.6.1 released on 16th Nov 2016
it is recommended to use the latest code in the maintenance branch as it includes bug fixes and improvements. Since July 2016 the code is maintained by the original developers in the 4Science repository
A demo installation running the latest code from the maintenance branch is provided by 4Science here: https://dspace-cris.4science.it/