Research Information System (RIS) Development Update #2

Where are we now?
The Committee for Research Innovation Strategy and REF Strategy Group have both approved a series of changes to RIS which will be visible in the new version as explained below:


Authors add the same output​ multiple times, meaning multiple checks are required to check Open Access compliance and various versions are available

One output will mean one record.
Additional authors can be added toa record, removing the need for
duplication of efforts and creating one version of the truth with rich metadata​.

Requirement to login to Cronfa to view outputs publicly available​
The system will be more open, allowing the view of items that are publically available in Cronfa. This will provide a more transparent research environment with increased opportunities for collaboration and interdisciplinary working on which our REF submission can be based. Users will still have the option to mark items as confidential and private information will not be visible​.
Impact Case Studies and Environment narratives not able to be shared within RIS until submission​
Updates to the permissions in RISmean that Impact Case Studies thatare not confidential and Environment narratives can be made visible to members of the UoA for feedback once at an agreed point. This functionality can be turned on and off by the UoA. ​
Reports take a long time to produce
Additional reporting functionality will be available to support continuous assessment and to ensure we
have an accurate view of our position ahead of submission in 2020​.

Please see the details below on how to become involved in testing the ‘new RIS’ and to provide feedback.

What next?
The focus for the team is very much on migration and testing at present. Our two priorities are ensuring that from the minute users begin to engage with the new system the experience is a positive one and that the information in the new RIS is correct. With this in mind, we have been having some planning sessions to discuss various steps for migration. We are in the process of fleshing these out and there will be testing undertaken to ensure data is correct.

We hope to automate most of the migration, however where human intervention and checking is required we will look to liaise with the REF Team and REF Officers to manage this. We will not be deleting records at this stage, instead adding them to a parent record e.g. the published document might be the parent record and we attach other versions found in the old RIS e.g. a draft as child records.

Please note, the Outputs Mini-REF for 2019 will be run from the current RIS following the Publications Mini-REF Assessment Process 2019.

Feedback and get involved
Colleagues are welcome to come and view the current stages of development in Faraday, Singleton or to attend bi-weekly showcase meetings where the development team demo the new system, to provide an opportunity for colleagues and inform future developments.
Further to this, we will be undertaking user testing over the coming weeks. If you are interested in taking part please contact Laura Bailey ( and/or Andrew Burrows (

We will of course keep you up-to-date on progress and training will be provided should the changes to the system necessitate this.

Guest post by Laura Bailey

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