Gateway to Research API documentation

The linked document contains a technical summary of the APIs available in the GTR Beta release of March 2013. More APIs will be added and the functioning of existing APIs will change over time – readers are asked to check the GtR web portal to ensure they are working from the most current version.

At the time of writing, the GtR project provided two APIs: GtRAPI and CERIF. Both produce outputs in XML and JSON formats. The GtRAPI is the same API that is used by the web portal and there is a direct correlation between the visible information on the web portal screens and the output from the API. The CERIF API produces XML output using the CERIF schema, provides access to all the data currently held in the GtR Database and is stored in a highly structured format. Although JSON output for the CERIF API is available we would advise people to only use the XML interface.

More details in the document.

GtR Application Programming Interface V1.0

GtR Data and System Release March 2013

GtR Release Note 04/03/2013

Paul Chitson, Gateway to Research Technical Coordinator

First of all apologies that this release note is late as two system and one data change have been completed since the initial beta launch.

User Interface Changes

– Addition: Google cookie. We have begun to use the Google analytics to track usage of the GtR Site in addition to our own backend web-log analysis. Google analytics drops a cookie on client machines.
– Fixed: A bug for older IOS and some android devices where the browser ACCEPT-HEADER on http requests was ”application\xml” first, which lead to rejection on the home page and XML output on other pages.
– Improvement: Changing the search term does not return you to the Project tab, but leaves you on the tab you were last looking at.
– Improvement: The Organisation details page now has paging and sorting added for the projects. Other improvements are in the pipeline.
– Improvement: Fellowships did not have a PI listed. We have now made the fellow also the PI on fellowships.
– Improvement: Funded Amount Facet now hides facets with no results.
– Improvement: We have removed some of the character encoding issues that saw unusual characters appearing in text fields.
– Improvement: On the publications search results and detail page many publications were listed as being “in Unknown”. We have reduced the number of publications that show this by recognising the publication types that should not have a parent publication (e.g. books). Some remain and these are being sorted over time as we get to grips with some data quality issues.
– Change: URLs have been changed to reflect the tab name (so person instead of Pers). The search URL has also been changed to “search/{resourcetype}?term=…”. The result of this change is that saved searches and details pages may no longer work. The change was to improve consistency in URLs and to provide the search capability within the APIs.

Data Refresh

• Data was pulled from source systems at the end of January. This fresh pull improved the quality of some data where we found issues in the mapping process (such as two copies of the same abstract being pushed together).
• We are aware that some data still has issues (such as missing abstracts). The GtR project has a policy of getting changes made in source systems where possible so that the issue is fixed for all uses, this unfortunately can take a considerable time.
• Next Data Refresh is scheduled for the end of April.

API Changes

• Improvement: The API’s can now have a search mechanism.
• Improvement: It is now possible to page through all projects, publications, organisations and people using the API (i.e. there is a listing API).
• URL Changes: For the GTRXML interface the resource names now match the tabs.
• API Documentation will be available by 07/03/2013

Gateway to Research – activities for early 2013

This blog post is intended to set the scene for the Gateway to Research project’s focus over the next few months. It covers:

Next system and data release
Persistent IDs
API access and development;
JISC Project – Gateway for HEIs.

Next system and data release

The December go-live of GtR was with a static dataset, and although we are working on routine updating of all data, this will not be possible for a few months yet. We intend to release the next version of GtR in early February, and this will include a fresh dataset. If you contributed data to MRC’s recent ResearchFish data collection or have entered data onto the Research Outcomes System (ROS) before 31 January this should be reflected in the new release. We also hope to address some of the gaps identified in the original dataset, and improve the quality of the user experience.

Persistent IDs

The team is also designing a mapping solution to persist what we consider to be the most important IDs:
• Organisation;
• Person;
• Project.
This should be completed by the time of the data refresh, in early February.

API access and development

The first GtR hack event is planned for 14/15 March at the Open Data Institute. This will be an invitation only event, designed to test drive the APIs and help us improve them. There are two APIs being developed for this event, a CERIF one (using the CERIF XML Schema 1.5.1 and a bespoke GTR XML Schema built around the current GTR web application. Further iterations of both will be made publicly accessible as soon as possible.

The two APIs will provide data in both XML and JSON formats.

A further hack event will take place later in the year aimed at demonstrating innovative uses for the GtR dataset.

Regarding the current situation, we are in the process of creating documentation with examples for the early rudimentary CERIF and GTR APIs. Note also that:

• We are developing a search interface for both CERIF/GTR APIs;
• Both are REST based;
• Output is XML or JSON;
• You will need some understanding of CERIF to traverse the CERIF API.

A number of organisations have contacted us about getting data using them and wanting to work closely with the GTR, but we are unable to promise exclusive access to any organisation. However, we will try and keep all interested parties informed of progress through the blog and other communications channels.

Looking further forward, we also hope to develop an OAI-PMH interface and SPARQL/RDF interface – but that will be towards the latter half of 2013.

JISC Project – Gateway for HEIs.

JISC have funded a project that will be to aiming to use GtR to improve the information exchange between HEIs and the Research Councils. The project is at an early stage in examining Use Cases that will form the basis for the work and more information on the project is available here: