What do we need to do to capture Impact?

March 31, 2010

I am drafting a high level specification to try and outline what we need our systems and processes to do to capture and report on Impact.

Ideally the solution will address RCUK and REF requirements as well as facilitating publicity and collaboration.

We’re hoping impact and  ‘date of impact’ will have one standard definition.

An ‘impact’ might be associated with one or more output, award, project and/or person.

Some impacts might need a publicity setting of ‘no’ so if we decide to store these in our Repository that requires some changes as the ethos of the repository to date has been public availability.

We’ll look into flagging of ‘top 4’ outputs/impacts and some ideas we have about management of multiple claims to outputs.

We will also start investigating requirements for upload of files such as pdf and mp3.

Our process will need to be User Friendly and clearly demonstrate benefits to end Users.

What are you doing at your institution?  Any questions or ideas for the sector?


Publicity of Award Outputs

March 30, 2010

I’ve been liaising with my colleagues in the library regarding the details of linking research outputs on the Repository with relevant awards.  If the initial setting on the award was for no publicity then the staff might enter an award onto the system as ‘free text’.  We then need to check if it is already in the list available in the Repository or if it is marked as publicity ‘no’ in our Research System therefore excluding it from the current data feed.    If it is on the Research System as publicity ‘no’ we need to check with Research and Enterprise specialist in case there is an IP issue or sensitivity.  If not we contact the lead person on the award and ask if they want the publicity flag changed to ‘yes’ so that the award can be associated with thier output.  We record the confirmations as an audit trail.

Some awards are specifically open access awards so where for example the person has an award from Wellcome they might also have another award on the same project to represent open access funding.  Both awards can be associated with the output but we might use the flag that identifies the open access funding to exclude this particular award from certain reports.

Remember if you want to know what our default publicity settings are do please ask.

MRC e-Val Exercise informs RCUK Research Outcomes Project

March 25, 2010

I coordinated the MRC e-Val exercise just before Christmas 2009.  MRC collected feedback on the process from the award holders and have published a report on their website.


Over the next few years award holders from the many HEI’s may have to continue to enter data direct to the MRC system.  So it is very re-assuring to see that the concensus is that the MRC system is easy to use. 

This until such time as the proposed RCUK system fulfils the MRC requirements.  MRC are working closely with RCUK on the requirements.  Once the new system is in place we hope to deliver data directly to RCUK rather than have information input to thier system by award holders as it will then not be in our local systems and synchronisation issues may exist.

Institutional Culture Supports Output Management

March 25, 2010

I’ve been speaking to other HEI’s discussing the extent of research output coverage in existing systems. It seems we at Glasgow find ourselves with comparitively good coverage compared to others in the sector despite thinking we have a lot to do.

We also spoke about culture. It seems that we are lucky at Glasgow to have good Vice-Principal support for our work and strong relationships between our administrative services such as Research and Enterprise, Library, and Human Resources. In addition our Publications Policy seems to be helping staff understand the benefits of depositing outputs in order to comply with requirements and gain publicity.

Our publication policy can be viewed at:


Linking Research Outputs to Awards

March 24, 2010

Over the last few days I’ve been receiving a few enquiries about our linkage of outputs to awards.  The types of issues include:

Q: Why is my award not on the pick list available when I deposit my research output?

A: We have currently only included awards that we have defaulted or actively marked as publicity ‘Yes’ – this includes most charities and Research Council’s.  Your award will probably be marked publicity ‘No’ because  you have not actively marked on the project approval form that you want publicity.  If you want it changed to ‘Yes’ let us know and as long as there are no institutional concerns about publicity we will change it to ‘Yes’.

If anyone wants to know the details of our publicity settings let me know and I can add them to this blog.

Incidentally some awards might always be publicity ‘No’ and we might actually add them these to the pick list in future but not for use in internal reporting only. 

We’ve also identified a few odd exceptions  in our search functionality that we have dealt with all so the system is being well tested with real instances.

Any questions please do contact us.

Output Types

March 19, 2010

This week, we’ve been having a look at the output types on the draft RCUK specification. I’ve asked our friends at RCUK when there might be more detail on the definitions as I think this will help enormously in getting our systems adjusted to support the requirements.

We’ve started our initial discussion document  with high level comments on mapping to our Repository, Research System and Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HEBCIS)  so watch this blog for developments.

I’ve uploaded a copy of our Research System award types, some of which we will need to map to to RCUK types.  We regularly review and update this list with our Finance Office colleagues to ensure consistency and it will be updated again soon as we were discussing it yesterday and identified a couple of new requirements.  Award Types March 2010

Importantly we don’t plan to change all of our coding to match RCUK requirements.  We have different reports and flags to group data differently for different purposes.

I’ve also been chatting with a colleague at the London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange who are particularly interested in managing information about the impact of Art.   This set of activities are of interest to RCUK but are often underrepresented in existing core University Systems.  More to follow on this soon.

Sharing Ideas about Output Management

March 16, 2010

Yesterday I attended a JISC Project Evaluation workshop.  This was very useful as I met a few other Project Manager’s who are working on how to manage and report specific outcome types.  I hope in particular to follow up with the Centre for e-Research at King’s College London whose PEKin project  includes looking into management of data sets and other projects that are looking at management of learning materials and teaching aids.


I’ve  also come away with a number of good ideas for the project with thanks to all who were at the workshop.