Research classifications as a tool in current research information systems

Sadia Vancauwenbergh, Hasselt University (Belgium)
Hanne Poelmans, Hasselt University (Belgium)

Abstract | Research institutions are worldwide investing in the collection and display of research information using database or CRIS systems. In Flanders, research information is being curated by individual research institutions, 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, from information provider to user, connects the same semantic meaning to the concepts being used. Although worldwide a lot of work has been done to semantically harmonize the used concepts, i.e. through the creation of standards for information exchange, it still remains difficult to obtain a true comprehension of the information as the databases were conceived within their own specific context. Using data governance as methodology, this issue can be overcome by creating a metamodel on top of the data model, that allows for a 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 as well as the accompanying semantics. In 2018, this resulted in the creation of the Flemish Research Discipline Standard (FRDS), which is a 4-level hierarchical code scheme on research disciplines. The FRDS is based on the Field of Research and Development (FORD) list of OECD, but contains 2 additional levels of detail and is supplemented with semantic descriptions. Together, this extends the use cases of the FRDS towards classifying more information objects. Moreover, 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.

Event Timeslots (1)

Day 2 | Friday, June 21
Sadia Vancauwenbergh & Hanne Poelmans, Hasselt University (Beligum)