Back in April we ran a series of groups to gather staff feedback on Swansea University’s Research Information System (RIS). Many thanks to all staff who participated! We had some excellent feedback and ideas across the 4 groups we ran (and some additional one-to-one conversations yielded further feedback).
We recorded all the individual comments, grouped them and scored them (attendees were asked for priorities). Some of our feedback was from RIS Administrators and focused specifically on the Admininstration tab within RIS – some minor changes have been implemented already (e.g. a new staff lookup) and other changes are currently in progress. The results relating to the general user interface are presented below. The top 10 change requests were as follows:
- Greater clarity and simplicity for the process of publishing documents (full text) to Cronfa: “public” flags and ticks are currently confusing.
- It should be possible to upload a document when adding the metadata of an output (not as a subsequent step on the separate “Documents” tab as at present).
- More information in the “i” help fields – what effect certain fields have and are they necessary? This covers a multitude of queries on specific fields.
- Confusion about dates (publication / authored / in print) in RIS and which are required. We are also missing the “Date of Acceptance” which needs to be added for REF compliance.
- Synchronization with ORCID so that publications could be imported from ORCID to RIS and vice versa.
- Adding authors for an output: to be able to do this when adding the output details (at the moment you have to save the output, then edit to add additional authors manually)
- Additional fields needed when adding full-text documents to RIS (e.g. version, notes).
- The ability to populate RIS from a search on a database such as SCOPUS or Web of Science.
- Allow for greater flexibility in terms of visibility on Cronfa and staff web pages: at the moment the “Publish” option covers both locations but staff would like to be able to publish documents on a staff web page and not Cronfa, for example.
- Confusion over the “co-authored” flag and what it means.
There was also feedback on the problem of duplicate records appearing in Cronfa (an example here). This would require a major revision to the RIS system which cannot be undertaken at present (see below) however the developers are looking at options for workarounds.
As most research staff are aware, RIS is currently experiencing high usage due to the Research Excellence Framework planning activities underway in most colleges. Changes to the user interface are therefore on hold until these exercises are over. We are hopeful that there will be a new release for RIS in the late summer / early autumn (after beta testing) which will address most of the points listed above.
If you would like to send feedback on RIS, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will continue to collate ideas and suggestions.