Framework for eResearch Adoption - Terms of Reference

Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of this project is to agree on strategic objectives for increasing eResearch adoption for the period 2011-2013.

This will inform future policy decisions by Ministry of Science and Innovation (MSI) and other related agencies and ideally will also influence current organisational approaches within and between KAREN members.

It is hoped that the Framework for eResearch Adoption will:

  • Provide research organisations with a framework for planning actions to increase adoption and use of eResearch tools and methods by their research staff
  • Enable research organisations to share and apply good practice in research data management, in order to maximise efficiencies and science quality through the creation, use, publication and curation of research data.
  • Enable policy and funding agencies to prioritise initiatives to support increased eResearch adoption

Approach and Focus

The 2007 Roadmap takes an inclusive view of capability building: ‘The appropriate combination of competent people, knowledge, money, technology, physical assets, systems and structures necessary to deliver a specified level of performance in pursuit of the organisation’s objectives. It comprises four documents: an overview, workforce capability, technology capability and sector capability. The 2007 Roadmap’s outcomes and actions were not limited to what is achievable with the level of resources available from the CBF or from within member organisations. The focus was on explicitly understanding the scale of the issues being addressed but the result was too broad to be implemented by any specific policy or funding changes or adopted by any institution.

It is proposed that this follow-on from the roadmap adopt a conceptual framework for eResearch services, capability and infrastructure but focus specifically on two areas that will require further attention: researcher eResearch capability development and the long term management of data assets. The technology component of the eResearch ecosystem, the infrastructure and supporting middleware to share computing resources and coordinate data storage have largely been supported through the National eScience Infrastructure (NeSI) investment case. Long-term management of data assets aligns closely with MoRST’s publicly funded research data management policy development and will provide supporting documentation to engage universities in this work.

Learning from international strategies

It is intended that the Australian and UK infrastructure strategies inform the development of this framework. The Strategic Roadmap for Australian Research Infrastructure August 2008 builds on the strategic impact, challenges and assumptions of six priority capability areas, drawing conclusions as to the infrastructure and support requirements. Each priority capability was supported by a high level working group comprising lead researchers and ICT managers in the area. This is a high cost approach that we are not able to replicate but we can draw ideas from it; it would be pertinent for our project to get input from lead researchers in priority science areas as identified in the government’s Igniting Potential: New Zealand’s Science and Innovation Pathway

The JISC Strategy 2010-2012 provides a useful framework for articulating objectives and illustrating what we have achieved through prior CBF investments while highlighting our longer-term goals.

What is out of scope

This project will not be focusing specifically on the advanced network, KAREN, governance or business models, e-Learning, education, or large scale research infrastructure. There are separate government agency work programmes addressing these areas. The current Government has also signalled that there is unlikely to be significant increases in Vote allocations in the coming year so while there may be funding issues and opportunities for targeted interventions, funding will not be a major focus for the review.

Getting involved

To learn more about the project and to get involved, read about the process we are undertaking.