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Round up from the EuroCRIS Conference 2024

Event duration June 03, 2024

The EuroCRIS conference, hosted this year in the beautiful city of Strauss and Hundertwasser, Freud, Grillparzer and Mozart (no, that’s not London or Wiesbaden…), was a fantastic opportunity to touch base with compassionate and highly knowledgeable colleagues on challenges and solutions surrounding the current status and direction of travel of CRIS systems and repositories in Europe, providing open and discoverable homes for the multitude of research outputs in the scientific ecosystem.

Hosted predominantly within the gorgeous, domed Kuppelsaal of the Technical University Vienna, as well as various breakout rooms,  it featured inspiring keynotes and studies from across the diverse European landscape of CRIS system implementation.

EuroCRIS’ board member Pablo de Castro hosted a handful of sessions throughout the 2.5 days, also presenting updates to DRIS, the directory of research information systems, currently encompassing 24 national systems, predominantly European, noting North America’s absence due to it having state- but not national systems.

The topic of fostering collaboration threaded through many of the presentations, and it was insightful to look beyond my own UK-centric vantage point at solutions, for example, from Croatia (CRORIS),  Flanders (FRIS), France (HAL), and of course TU Vienna, who did a great job at hosting, and showcasing their work on a variety of systems that gather different types of research data, such as their DSpace-hosted ReposiTUm which was implemented in 2015 to support the open access strategy at the TU.

Stefan Hanslik, chair of e-IRG, opened the conference by elaborating on the gravitas of the European Science Cloud, which, not incidentally, was launched in Vienna in 2018, with the important mission of making FAIR data available to European citizens, a true boon to the excellence of science carried out in the EU. 


The breaks were wonderful opportunities to strike up new conversations and share ideas and continue questions and discussions beyond the time limits of presentations, and, last not least, provided great coffee and largely (not exclusively) health-conscious snacks! A small exhibitor section for sponsors was well-frequented, situated at the entrance of the main lunch room, where many informative papers were also displayed as posters.

An interesting perspective emerged from Tilburg in the Netherlands, where Frank Diepmaat set the scene, explaining that until recently Pure was the de facto IR. However, Tilburg have now selected DSpace as a separate repository, perhaps indicating a wider trend based on the fact that PlanS and OpenDOAR stipulations are hard to satisfy technically by a CRIS such as Pure alone (such as retaining items indefinitely, exclusively use of PIDs, versioning, tombstone functionality etc).
Thomas Gurney, Product Manager at Elsevier, gave a fascinating talk about the good, the bad, and the AI, in research management, with the latter not being entirely ugly and on the contrary holding great transformative potential for the research output, if balanced carefully against the ongoing need for privacy.

A CRISCROS roundtable, thankfully nothing to do with the 90s musical act, but all to do with bringing together different CRIS initiatives, shed a spot on regional and national infrastructure in Flanders, Croatia, Finland, Catalonia, and Denmark, putting forward specific use cases followed by a lively discussion around collaboration and clear goals defining the CRIS initiatives. 

I was happy to present the collaboration between University of Lancaster and ChronosHub as part of the partnership sessions, allowing me to give a UK-specific example of how our platform in support of Open Access workflows facilitates a superior user-experience on top of existing systems, a single point of approach for researchers and administrators to lighten their bagful of challenges and time-constraints. The session was followed by a few curious questions around our ability to handle integrations with a variety of CRIS systems, which I answered in the affirmative.

Other papers in this group were authored in Kaunas and in Kassel, Warsaw and Kuopio, a somewhat stinging reminder that as a European resident in the United Kingdom we have lost something dear and invaluable - even greater though, that the doors of collaboration are wide open to all in the service of an even FAIRer future for research data.    




Business Development Consultant (UK-based) at ChronosHub
Jan Rylewicz

Jan is passionate about scholarly publishing’s move towards Open Access and a more equitable, knowledgeable world. He thrives on helping UK-based institutions succeed in their OA journeys.  

Jan Rylewicz

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