What is new with MERIL?
The MERIL team has been quite active in the last two months, travelling around Europe to present the project and to foster further discussions with the RI community and stakeholders.
Interoperability workshop in Athens
On 25 and 26 June 2018 we organised a workshop hosted by EKT in Athens (Greece) to discuss interoperability challenges and opportunities with the wider community, looking into the current initiatives in RI data models and database management but also exploring sustainability and financing for the future.
The discussions were very fruitful and you can find below key points and takeaways from our discussions:
- A one-size fits all solution is a major challenge solution lies in developing a tailored plan for interoperability with each interoperability partner.
- MERIL will aim to issue persistent identifiers for RIs
This will be of service to the community as it will provide a simple, standardised way for RIs to be credited in research papers, for example. Importantly, this supports the case for MERIL’s long term role and will help other organisations link back to the database (i.e. active link to the MERIL portal profile page).
- More MERIL filters and search options available
Expanding the filtering and search functionality of the MERIL portal would help to allow for a more flexible data slicing.
- Improving structuring of MERIL data
Using schema.org vocabularies and mark-up was suggested as an improvement to the database’s data structuring.
- Fostering collaboration
Several interoperability partnerships were identified during the event, e.g. Re3data, EurOcean and Wayforlight, with which further conversations are currently ongoing. It would be useful for MERIL to also push data to databases that are already used by the research community.
- MERIL should consider providing its own unique services to users
Several ideas to this end were discussed – such as presenting user stories and case studies to highlight the added value of these services in order to support the case for MERIL being an irreplaceable tool- but more work to define the opportunities is needed.
The new interoperability strategy will be published in the fall. Further details will follow.
EuroScience Open Forum in Toulouse
At the beginning of July we participated in the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) in Toulouse, France, which is the largest interdisciplinary science meeting in Europe, with an attendance of over 4,000 delegates from 80 countries.
The conference offered us a unique opportunity to present the MERIL project at our dedicated booth in the exhibition area. During the week, we engaged in fruitful discussions with researchers, RI managers and policy makers, discussed our efforts toward interoperability and obtained very valuable feedback on the portal.
Some of the highlights of our week were the presentation of our new brochure, in which we describe the project, how to use the portal and how to be indexed in it as an RI. To find all the information in a nutshell, take a look at the new MERIL teaser video that was also presented at ESOF. For a more in-depth vision, you can also watch the full version.