An Increasing Role for Libraries in Research Information Management

Research information management (RIM), also often called Current Research Information Systems (CRISs), is the aggregation, curation, and utilization of metadata about research activities. Institutional RIM adoption, in tandem with activities by publishers, funders, and libraries, can help to reliably connect a complex scholarly communications landscape of researchers, affiliations, publications, datasets, grants, projects, and their persistent identifiers. Libraries today are playing a larger role in research information management at institutions worldwide and can offer considerable expertise to support publications harvesting, discoverability, training and support for researchers, and stewardship of the scholarly record.

OCLC Research recognizes the growing importance of RIM to research libraries, and is conducting research on behalf of the library community in order to better understand library roles and institutional needs in this rapidly changing ecosystem.

RIM is distinct from research data management (RDM), a similar-sounding term that is used to describe the processes researchers and institutions use for organizing, securing, archiving, and sharing research data throughout the research lifecycle. Learn more about OCLC Research’s active RDM Research agenda.

Research Information Management: Defining RIM and the Library’s Role

Position Paper: Research Information Management: Defining RIM and the Library’s Role

This year OCLC Research has been working closely with a working group of librarians and practitioners from OCLC Research Library Partnership institutions on three continents to develop an international framework for understanding RIM practices and to articulate the value proposition of libraries within this space.

These conversations have resulted in a position paper titled Research Information Management: Defining RIM and the Library’s Role. This publication addresses two-fold goals:

  1. To define research information management and to offer models to explain metadata sources, uses, and institutional stakeholders.
  2. To articulate the specific value proposition of libraries within research information management.


  • Rebecca Bryant, OCLC Research
  • Anna Clements, University of St Andrews
  • Carol Feltes, Rockefeller University
  • David Groenewegen, Monash University
  • Simon Huggard, La Trobe University
  • Holly Mercer, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • Roxanne Missingham, Australian National University
  • Maliaca Oxnam, University of Arizona
  • Anne Rauh, Syracuse University
  • John Wright, University of Calgary

Convenience and Compliance: Case Studies on Persistent Identifiers in European Research Information Management

This year OCLC Research has engaged in a joint research collaboration with LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries) to examine RIM practices in three European national contexts—Finland, Germany and the Netherlands—with close attention to the adoption and integration of person and organizational persistent identifiers (PIDs) and their role in supporting disambiguation, interoperability, and scaling. Through a series of semi-structured interviews with practitioners and stakeholders within universities, national libraries and collaborative Information and Communications Technology (ICT) organizations, the research team has developed robust case studies of national RIM infrastructures as well as specific examples of RIM practices and PID integration. This project complements and extends previous research and provides research managers and library leaders with useful insights on emerging practices and challenges in research management at institutional, group, and national scales.

Survey on Research Information Management Practices

OCLC Research and euroCRIS have been working collaboratively on an international Survey on Research Information Management Practices.

Survey goals

This survey will help us understand and report on the state of RIM activities worldwide, and it seeks answers to the following questions:

  • Why have institutions adopted--or are considering adopting--RIM infrastructures?
  • What are the principal drivers?
  • How are institutions using RIM functionality? What are the principal uses?
  • Who are institutional stakeholders, and what, in particular, is the role of libraries?
  • What processes and systems are in use? How do they interoperate with internal and external systems? What is the scope?
  • What are regional and international differences in drivers, uses, and processes?

When will the results be published?

  • The survey is now closed and survey results will be published in 2018 as an OCLC Research report and made openly available to the community.
  • Survey data will be published CC-BY.


  • Rebecca Bryant, OCLC Research
  • Pablo de Castro, Strathclyde University and euroCRIS
  • Anna Clements, University of St. Andrews and euroCRIS
  • Annette Dortmund, OCLC Research
  • Jan Fransen, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  • Mohammed Javed, Cornell University
  • Constance Malpas, OCLC Research
  • Michele Mennielli, DuraSpace and EuroCRIS
  • Maliaca Oxnam, University of Arizona
  • Rachael Samberg, University of California-Berkeley
  • Julie Speer, Virginia Tech

Preliminary Findings from the euroCRIS/OCLC Research Survey of Research Information Practices

This presentation shares preliminary findings from the survey jointly administered by euroCRIS and OCLC Research, and was given by Rebecca Bryant (OCLC Research), Pablo de Castro (University of Strathclydepablo), Anna Clements (University of St Andrews), and Michele Mennielli (DuraSpace).

Download the presentation (.pdf) from CRIS2018: 14th International Conference on Current Research Information Systems, 14 June 2018, Umeå University, Umeå (Sweden).

Project Lead

Rebecca Bryant, Senior Program Officer


OCLC Research Library Partnership Activities

OCLC Research collaborates with librarians from OCLC Research Library Partnership member institutions to learn, share, and collectively conduct research. The Research Information Management Interest Group listserv provides a discussion forum exclusively for RLP members. Interested in joining us? Learn more.