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Title: Research classifications as a tool in current research information systems
Issue Date: 2019
Source: International Society for Knowledge Organization - Low Countries Chapter, Brussels - Belgium, 21/06/2019
Abstract: Research institutions are worldwide investing a lot in the collection and display of information on research using database systems or more advanced CRIS systems. In Flanders, research information is being curated by individual research institutions (i.e. universities, colleges, and other research units), after which the information is collected and displayed through a central CRIS-portal, i.e. Flemish Research Information Space (FRIS). Obviously, this mode of operation demands that every user, both information providers as well as information users, connect the same semantic meaning to the concepts being used for information exchange. Although worldwide a lot of work has been done to the semantic harmonization of the used concepts, i.e. through the creation of standards for information exchange (i.e. CERIF-XML), it still remains difficult to obtain a true semantic information exchange as the information providers have conceived their databases within their own specific context. Using data governance as methodology, this issue can be overcome by creating a metamodel on top of the datamodel, that allows for crosswalk to the information models of individual stakeholders. However, research classifications are often neglected in this perspective. In Flanders, efforts have been made by ECOOM-Hasselt to expand this semantic exercise into the harmonization of research classifications, both in terms of reducing the redundancy in classification schemes available for a given classification type (i.e. research disciplines) as well as in the semantics attached. In 2018, this resulted in the creation of the Flemish Research Discipline Standard (FRDS), which is a 4-level hierarchical code list used to classify research information according to research discipline. The FRDS is based on the architecture of the Field of Research and Development (FORD) list of OECD, but contains 2 additional levels that allow for a more detailed specification of research information which is used for describing research expertise at the micro level. Furthermore the FRDS is provided with semantic descriptions for every code to enable a swift interpretation by both information providers and users. Together, this extends the use cases of the FRDS towards its classification potential, i.e. in terms of classifying more information objects (i.e. individual researchers) and allowing more use purposes. While research classifications are mostly used for reporting and statistical purposes, the FRDS can be used for analyzing and visualizing research from the macro to the micro level. Moreover, the FRDS is used in the FRIS-portal for finding scientific experts, and has applications in the design of indicators for research and development monitoring. In this presentation, an overview will be given of the Flemish Research Discipline Standard and its use purposes in Flanders.
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Category: C2
Type: Conference Material
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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