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On research information and classification governance in an inter-organizational context: the Flanders Research Information Space


In a knowledge-based economy, a good overview of the scientific and technological portfolio is essential for policy formation and driving knowledge transfer to the industry and the broad public. In order to enhance open innovation, the Flemish public administration has created a Flanders research information portal that integrates information available from its data providers (research institutions, funding organizations…) using the Common European Research Information Format standard. Although this standard allows for almost unlimited flexibility for modelling the research information, it has limitations when it comes down to communication to end-users, in terms of semantics. However, interoperability of research information is only meaningful when a well-defined semantics is used and hence acts as a leverage for comparability of the information provided on the portal, including its derived services offered to the research community, research-driven organizations and policy makers. This paper describes the implementation of a business semantics tool that governs the meaning of the data concepts and classifications used for research information, in particular research funding, as a means to unambiguously exchange and interpret research data.

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This work is part of the Classification Governance project carried out for the Expertise Centre for Research & Development Monitoring (ECOOM) in Flanders, which is supported by the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation, Flanders.

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Correspondence to Sadia Vancauwenbergh.

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Vancauwenbergh, S., De Leenheer, P. & Van Grootel, G. On research information and classification governance in an inter-organizational context: the Flanders Research Information Space. Scientometrics 108, 425–439 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-016-1912-7

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  • Research information systems
  • Semantics
  • Interoperability
  • Data and classification governance
  • Concordance tables
  • Comparability
  • Research funding
  • Inter-organizational context