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Title: The application of the CERIF data format to Snowball Metrics
Authors: Clements, Anna 
Jörg, Brigitte 
Lingjærde, Grete Christina 
Chudlarský, Tomáš 
Colledge, Lisa 
Keywords: Snowball Metrics;indicators;CERIF;research information management;institutional strategy
Issue Date: 14-May-2014
Publisher: euroCRIS
Source: "Managing Data-Intensive Science: the Role of Research Information Systems in Realising the Digital Agenda": Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Current Research Information Systems (2014)
Procedia Computer Science 33: 297-300 (2014)
Series/Report no.: CRIS2014: 12th International Conference on Current Research Information Systems (Rome, May 13-15, 2014)
Conference: CRIS2014 Conference 
The euroCRIS Indicators Task Group aims to develop and share best practice in the use of indicators to support research information management. One of the outputs of the group will be indicators expressed in CERIF that can re-used by CERIF-compliant software services to support consistent measurements for both national and international purposes.

This Task Group will express multiple sets of indicators in CERIF, with Snowball Metrics being the first set to be tackled. The goal of the Snowball Metrics initiative is for research-intensive institutions to share their knowledge and experiences to agree best practice in evidence-based institutional strategic planning. Agreed and tested metrics “recipes”, or methodologies, are shared free of charge with the sector in the Snowball Metrics Recipe Book ( for use by any
organization, whether for public service or commercial purposes.

One of the principles of Snowball Metrics is that they are system-agnostic: in other words, that although particular types of data are needed to support their calculation, the data can come from any relevant source such that the recipes are not tied to any one particular system or supplier of research information. The application of the CERIF data standard to the recipes is an important
component in enabling benchmarking between institutions in a system-agnostic manner through the exchange of Snowball Metrics.

CERIFication of Snowball Metrics is also expected to facilitate the endorsement of these recipes as global standards. The first set of recipes was agreed and tested by a group of universities in the United Kingdom, but the vision is that Snowball Metrics are supported by universities globally, and that multiple national groups contribute their expertise to agree how best to leverage the institutional and national data sources available, alongside proprietary data sources. The formation of Working Groups and the
use of Snowball Metrics outside the United Kingdom demonstrate that the initiative is gaining global traction, and strongly indicate that the needs being addressed are widespread problems for which the sector would like to find a single answer. The
universal nature of CERIF provides an important reference point to which it is expected that distinct but equivalent national data sources can be mapped and so used in international benchmarking.

CERIFication of the Snowball Metrics is a further example of the accelerating worldwide uptake of CERIF-CRIS Systems by various stakeholders in the research community. In this paper, we will share the progress that has been made, and the lessons
learnt, by the Indicators Task Group on applying CERIF to the Snowball Metrics recipes. The pictorial representation of these metrics in CERIF, as well as examples in formal CERIF and CERIF xml, will be shared. We will also highlight the enhancements to the CERIF data model that are being considered that have been uncovered through this work.
Presented at the CRIS2014 Conference in Rome; published in Procedia Computer Science 33 (Jul 2014).-- 8 pages.
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