This post is part of an ongoing series where I intend to develop my full personal (not institutional) response to the HE Green Paper. Comments are welcome to refine this.
The Green Paper asks in Question 28:
How could the data infrastructure underpinning research information management be improved?
The emergent challenge for the UK’s research data infrastructure is in ensuring twofold that:
- Monopolies do not emerge that control substantial portions of the UK’s research information management systems.
- To ensure that the data collected is standardised and interoperable.
The best way to ensure each of these elements is to mandate the development and use of open source solutions for research information management. At present, institutions experience a kind of “hostage situation” when they need to comply with new legislation or new funder mandates but the vendor of their research information management or CRIS system feels little incentive to implement the necessary changes. Empowering Jisc financially to build strong, robust and open systems that meet the needs of the UK university landscape would be the best way to improve research information management.