Introducing the Gateway to Research

Catherine Coates, Director of Business Innovation at EPSRC and the SRO for the Gateway to Research project, introduces the project and explains why the Gateway is important –

The UK’s Research Councils host a significant quantity of data which provides information on the research and training that they support, as well as the outcomes of that research. This is of huge potential interest and value to business and many other organisations, particularly universities that already make similar data publically available. The Research Councils together are determined to play their part in making the data we hold freely and easily available for others to use as they see fit, including seeding collaborations and helping interested parties to find out who, what and where knowledge sits to enable them to make contact with people who can help them.

With the Gateway to Research project, we envisage an integrated Research Council data set that enables data sharing across the government, private and university sectors.

For example, although currently our data is in the public domain, accessible through our websites, it isn’t easy to navigate what seven Councils hold when using seven different websites!

So we want to create a smart way to make that easy, with common data standards and interoperability, so anyone can access it and use it as they see fit. This is the Gateway to Research concept. Not a controlling gateway but an open door!

We aim to produce an integrated data depositing and harvesting experience for universities and other stakeholders.

We need your help in making this happen. We will use this blog to engage with interested parties regarding the platforms, technologies and data formats that we will be delivering. Help us to deliver the functionality and user experience that will enable you to use our data.

This blog will be updated as often as is practical when there is new information to share. Realistically this will be once a week at most. We will, however, endeavour to engage with questions on a more frequent basis.

4 thoughts on “Introducing the Gateway to Research

  1. We received a question prompted by this post “…the blog seems to be heavily focused on data – presumably you will also be linking to published research articles as well?”

    To which I replied “Most of the questions we get are around platforms, APIs, data formats, etc. We need to engage with the users for the GtR dataset to be re-usable initially, and will develop additional functionality over time. Regarding linking to published articles, the Research Councils, as part of their response to the Finch report, have developed a new Open Access policy, and the Gateway to Research will be key infrastructure to expose this content.” Relevant outputs will be linked whenever they can be identified, for example through DOI or other unique identifier such as PubMedCentral ID, but we will not seek to duplicate existing repositories or publishers websites.”

    You can link to the new OA policy here http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/research/Pages/outputs.aspx
    And David Willett’s open letter here – http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/science/docs/l/12-975-letter-government-response-to-finch-report-research-publications.pdf

  2. The project descriptions is unclear which means that the project scope appears vague. To quote the RCUK page for the Gateway to Research:

    “… ‘Gateway to Research’ which will allow ready access to Research Council funded research information and related data”.

    The related research data can either be:

    1) Data about the research process: e.g. funders, grant holders, grant descriptions, or
    2) Data created by the research such as seismic profiles, side-scan sonar, etc.

    Having read a summary of the CERIF Data Model I think it is the former of the two options. If that is the right interpretation this needs to be clarified on the related RCUK page rather than clarity having to be sought on the CERIF site in one of Keith Jeffery’s presentations.

    • Dear Jeremy,

      Thanks for the comment – apologies for the tardiness of replying, much of the team have been on leave.

      The answer to your question is that the Gateway will essentially enable access to both types of research data.

      The main body of the data that RCUK hold is in your first category, and we will be making much of this available – the funders, grant holders, abstracts, values, etc. This will make up the bulk of the data that we will make available via the GtR portal.

      The data created by the research, for example datasets, will not be directly available – we are not providing a repository for actual scientific data. However, we will link through to where it is held, should we hold that information. Our data gathering tools allow DoIs to be collected, although this is not currently a compulsory field for research datasets.

      Given the way the research landscape is moving, with the open access debates and greater access to metadata about research, the amount of information in this area should continue to grow and hopefully the GtR will play a part in making as much of it accessible as possible.

  3. Pingback: CERIF 1.5 Reference Document – CERIF XML API – GtR Hack Day |

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