CERIF stands for Current European Research Information Format (Current because it refers to information with currency i.e. that is relevant to the user). It is an international-standard data model which describes the research domain and the relationships between elements in the domain for example, person-project-publication-citation. The CERIF model is based on a small number of core components and an extensive set of linkages between these which can mirror their often complicated inter-relationships. This has the benefit of being able to fulfil the metadata requirements of almost any research information system.CERIF is also important because it is one of the ways in which information can be more readily exchanged between systems, including between, for example, a university and a research funder. CERIF is maintained by euroCRIS, the European Organisation for International Research Information, and offers a comprehensive model for all metadata necessary to maintain research information systems in an interchangeable form.


CERIF4REF is a schema for the purpose of compiling submissions to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise. CERIF itself is complex, and by mapping the specific elements needed for the REF, CERIF4REF constitutes a simpler, intermediary schema.

Current Research Information Systems (CRIS)

The term Current Research Information System can be used interchangeably with RIM. Wikipedia defines a CRIS as “a database or other information system storing data on current research by organizations and people, usually through some kind of project activity, financed by a funding programme.”
 In practice, the term CRIS has come to be identified by many people with proprietary solutions such as those from Atira (Pure), and Avedas (Converis). For some institutions, the CRIS is seen as separate but linked to the repository (though PURE, for example, has a repository function, see Scenario 3) whereas some institutions which have built in-house research information management systems would definitely include their repository as an integral part of the system.

Electronic Research Administration

Two US authors, John Rodman and Brad Stanford wrote in 2006 that ERA “can be loosely defined as improving [research] administrative processes through the application of technology, particularly computer technology”.[1] Some research funders employ systems referred to as ERA (e.g. Impac II and Commons), including the National Institutes of Health in the USA.

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)

A commonly used Internet protocol which allows organisations to maintain directories of email addresses and other details. It is also used to look up services on networks and to maintain single sign-on services. It is appropriate for any directory-like service characterised by infrequent updates and the need for fast look-ups.

Linked Data

Linked Data is about using the Web to connect related data that wasn’t previously linked, or using the Web to lower the barriers to linking data currently linked using other methods. Wikipedia defines Linked Data as "a term used to describe a recommended best practice for exposing, sharing, and connecting pieces of data, information, and knowledge on the Semantic Web using Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) and RDF." Among its many other possible applications, Linked Data is a potential way of sharing data in repositories and research information management systems. For example, the dotAC project has been working on ways for repositories to use Linked Data, including a way for ePrints to export holdings as Linked Data.


MePrints is a flexible home page and profile system for users of EPrints software, designed to provide a customisable point of entry for the user and therefore increase ease of use and engagement with the repository by the researcher, as well as facilitating the deposit of more unusual content types. Each user gets their own customisable homepage where they can set personal data such as fields of expertise and a mini biography. The homepage contains widgets that can be added and removed from the homepage and positioned according to user preference by dragging and dropping. Typical widgets include the user’s most popular documents and quick upload. User profiles are the public facing side of the user in the repository. Repository administrators control the look and feel of public profile pages so that there is consistency across the repository and a professional feel to the external facing user information. User profiles typically contain similar widgets to a user homepage but they are not customisable by the views and will often have a different look and feel.

Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE)

This is an initiative to define standards for the description and exchange of aggregations of Web resources. These aggregations, sometimes called compound digital objects, may combine distributed resources with multiple media types including text, images, data, and video. The goal of these standards is to expose the rich content in these aggregations to applications that support authoring, deposit, exchange, visualization, reuse, and preservation. It is clear that these standards have a direct relevance to scholarly communication, though the standards are intended to generalize across all web-based information. In some ways, OAI-ORE can be seen as an alternative to CERIF as a way to exchange information, and as a way to “transform digital repositories into interoperable storage and services applications,” as this article argues.

Research Information Management (RIM) systems

This is an overarching, neutral term describing systems that help institutions manage the entire research process from initial funding opportunities through to the completion of projects, and the supply of information for research assessment. They collect information about a large number of things, including people, projects, grants and research outputs. RIM systems typically derive information from a number of other institutional systems, including finance, human resources, student records and databases specifically developed to support research assessment. Such systems may be acquired as an integrated offering, or be created by the integration of institutional systems.

Research Management Administration System (RMAS)

RMAS is the name of a JISC-funded project to create a cloud-based, modular system for research management. The idea is that institutions will be able to use only those modules they need to complement their own systems. The elements will be independent but interoperable. The shared service modules will all be CERIF-compliant and communicate using an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).

Research Publications Management Systems (RPMS)

This term is a generic one referring to any tool for holding information about publications, not the publications themselves. They are generally in-house central or departmental databases using a variety of software e.g. Access, Excel, EndNote, though it is also possible to use more sophisticated systems such as Symplectic as publications management systems, but with the advantage that they pull publication data in from external databases such as Scopus and Web of Science. Many repositories which accept metadata-only records as well as full-text are effectively acting as central RPMSs and are also capable of taking data from external databases.

Resource Description Framework (RDF)

RDF is one of the key ingredients of Linked Data, and provides a generic graph-based data model for describing things, including their relationships with other things.

Sherpa RoMEO and JULIET

RoMEO provides information on publishers’ policies on copyright and self-archiving. Both repositories and commercial RIM systems have implemented APIs to bring information from RoMEO into the deposit process to alleviate authors’ concerns. JULIET provides information on grant funding bodies’ policies on deposit of outputs from funded research projects.


The Scholarly Works Application Profile (SWAP) was developed in order to provide a method for describing scholarly works, research papers or scholarly research texts. A Scholarly Work is a distinct intellectual or artistic scholarly creation. SWAP defines an eprint to be a scientific or scholarly research text, for example a peer-reviewed journal article, a preprint, a working paper, a thesis, a book chapter, or a report. Descriptions made using the profile are designed mainly to provide richer, more consistent metadata descriptions; facilitate search and browse; enable identification of the latest, or most appropriate, version and facilitate navigation between different versions; enable identification of the research funder and project code and facilitate identification of open access materials. The domain model used by SWAP is based on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) model. FRBR models the bibliographic world using 4 key entities – ‘Work’, ‘Expression’, ‘Manifestation’ and ‘Item’ – which are the subject of bibliographic descriptions. The SWAP model includes a fifth entity, `agent`, which embodies the FRBR supporting entities of `person` and `corporate body`.


Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit (SWORD) is a profile of the Atom Publishing Protocol (known as APP or ATOMPUB). SWORD is a lightweight protocol for depositing content from one location to another.

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