eRIC - Infrastructure and Communication

We are eRIC


A network of researchers, information specialists, and IT experts.
eRIC is a joint initiative by information experts from libraries all over the world. Partners from Germany and South Africa are currently continuously working in close collaboration with software developers, IT experts, and researchers from various fields of expertise to develop a comprehensive software and service infrastructure. Are you interested in being part of our endeavour? Come and join our team at Colissimo International Suivi.

customer oriented
eRIC tools are based on customer requirements and implemented bottom-up.
orange icon with an open lock, symbolizing “open source”

open source
eRIC software is published open source, ready for re-use.
orange icon representing a virtual, collaborative network

collaborative development
eRIC services are developed in collaboration with researchers, librarians and IT-experts.
orange icon showing puzzle piece which stands for “modular solutions”

modular solutions
eRIC software is part of a flexible multi-tier service architecture.

Our Services

DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE

The eRIC Workbench is an electronic lab journal that offers tools for creating data management plans as well as for project management and for facilitating data sharing and collaboration.

SUPPORT AND CONSULTATION

During the entire life cycle of research projects, we support researchers and advise on all aspects of research data management.

SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS

We develop software soluti

Services supporting the research lifecycle

eRIC will provide several services and tools to accompany the complete life cycle of scientific knowledge generation and transfer. All services and tools offered are assigned to the four stages in the lifecycle of a research project, as identified by a survey among our researchers.

Stage 1: Finding a research topic by reviewing literature

In the first phase of the research life cycle, the basis for a research project is established. One of the foundations of research is working with literature. Libraries provide various services for supplying literature to the researcher. The goal is to integrate existing and new services to be developed in connection with literature management within the eRIC framework, in order to unite all areas of reference management on one platform.

Reference management system

Integration of functions for efficient literature management by extension of existing mediaTUM methods, and reuse of open source software.

Stage 2: Planning research and accessing resources

The eRIC Workbench offers project management tools and supports you in creating a project structure, planning individual work stages, using resources, and documenting entire research projects. Project planning includes a tool for creating data management plans.

Definition of project structure

Via the creation of the research project, and the detailed design of research plans, the foundation for the documentation of the scientific project will be established.

Resource planning

Project managers have project management tools to support them with efficient resource planning.

Product documentation

Documentation is an essential component of project implementation.

Stage 3: Collecting and analyzing data

You can collect and process primary data in the electronic lab journal, the eRIC Workbench. Furthermore, the eRIC team will develop customised tools, such as interfaces for automated data import or methods for extracting technical metadata to the lab journal, on request.

Data collection and storage

Primary data may be entered in various ways. This can be done manually or automatically via standardised interfaces.

Manual data collection
Ability to automate the creation and management of survey projects.
Manual data collection: development of a tool for flexible creation of questionnaires.
Data collection: conducting and managing surveys based on generated samples.

Automated data collection
Development of interfaces and method for connecting to external systems via SOAP.
Design of communication with file systems and tracking changes in the data storage of measuring equipment.
Implementation of an interface for automated import of data from measuring equipment.

Collecting data using mobile devices
Develop a mobile application (app) for Android for access and data transfer to mediaTUM.
Extension of an existing iOS app for data collection and management.

Organisation, evaluation and documentation of data

Almost every research data type contains descriptive information (metadata). The project objective is the analysis of research data and the subsequent extraction and storage of associated metadata for further use within the research project.

Analysis of primary and secondary data: metadata creation
Development of methods for extracting technical metadata and parameter values of primary and secondary data.
Extension of interfaces for automated research data import for the transmission of technical parameters and device settings in experiments.
Development of standards for the formatting of the metadata collected.
Implementation of user interface to manage metadata.

Organisation and documentation of primary and secondary data
Development of a tool for the storage and organisation of primary and secondary data including associated metadata.
Integration of data into the “Lab Notebook” and project documentation.
Expansion of existing mechanisms for long-term preservation of research data.

Filtering, analysis and visualisation of primary and secondary data

For researchers, the evaluation of the stored data is an important milestone in the research project. The aim is therefore to create mechanisms for filtering data and connecting the system to external evaluation tools. This permits both qualitative and quantitative evaluation. Analysis will be facilitated through visualisation of research data at various stages of processing.

Filtering of data
Implementation of a user interface for filtering research data based on configurable parameters by the researchers.

Analysis of data
Integration of required functions or development of interfaces for data exchange with various external systems: integration of tools for statistical data analysis, pattern recognition, and transcription tools.
Ability to save and describe evaluation results.
Adaptation of standardised interfaces to external analysis tools to meet the specific requirements of research project partners.

Visualisation of data
Integration of external tools for visualisation or integration of the functions required within the eRIC framework.

Stage 4: Publishing research data and transferring knowledge


The eRIC team will advise you on where and how to publish research results. Additionally, documenting each stage of a research process in the eRIC Workbench facilitates knowledge transfer to the project team or collaborators.

Publication planning

Within a project team, it is important that publication projects are planned, checked, and carried out jointly. In addition, linking and citation of scientific articles and related research data must be ensured.

Plagiarism check and bibliometric analysis

The eRIC platform offers researchers a publication plagiarism checker and, among other things, the opportunity to evaluate the reception of publications on the basis of citation and usage statistics

Creation of printed publications

In addition to the electronic publication of research results, scientists will be able to order printed publications.

Join the network

eRIC is a joint initiative by information experts from libraries all over the world. Partners from Germany and South Africa are currently working in close collaboration with software developers, IT experts, and researchers from various fields of expertise to develop a comprehensive software and service infrastructure.

Please contact us, if you would like to join the eRIC initiative.

eRIC partners

University Library
Germany

University Library
Germany

University Libraries
South Africa

Why join eRIC?

REASON 1
Offer sophisticated service and software tools to your customers.

REASON 2
Benefit from the experience and expertise of eRIC partner libraries.

REASON 3
Enrich the eRIC structure, adding your own ideas and requirements

eRIC initiative

The eRIC (eResearch – Infrastructure and Communication) initiative aims to develop an integrated communication and data management infrastructure to accompany the complete life cycle of scientific knowledge generation and transfer.

eRIC attaches particular importance to the analysis and development of models and tools for communication between researchers and libraries, both among eRIC project partners and within research teams. In collaboration with an international team of scientists and library staff, we will develop appropriate communication and decision-making structures, establish a research support consultation infrastructure, as well as set up teams for implementation of the required software tools.

In contrast to similar approaches, eRIC services are developed bottom-up. During the project, all researchers’ software requirements will be periodically evaluated, analysed for their interdisciplinary reusability as generic concepts, and implemented as part of a generic software-layer. Special subject-related requirements are implemented on top of generic tools in a separate tool layer. All project results will be documented and published as open-source-software for reuse.

This comprehensive approach goes far beyond tailor-made IT-solutions, affects all central divisions of the library, and denotes a paradigm shift in university library services.

Work schedule structure
A survey among researchers from numerous faculties revealed four interdisciplinarily valid stages in the lifecycle of a research project. The survey focussed on research and data management methods applied as well as on communication and collaboration practices. Communication was defined as a key issue pertaining to all stages of the research lifecycle.