The Common European Research Information Format (CERIF) standard has been with us for a rather long time in its current form and has served the research information management community well. Plenty of CRIS systems worldwide have been designed and built following the CERIF model as developed and maintained by the euroCRIS CERIF Task Group as a means to ensure the maximum possible level of system interoperability. The limitation of the CERIF development to this CERIF TG poses some issues however, and there has been an increasing number of reflections within it on the need to refactor the current CERIF structure along with the processes for extending or building associated software or extensions. This would involve updating the CERIF spec to more current software engineering practices that have modularity and extensibility at its core so that it is easier to decentralise the work on the standard and tools. The figure below provides a tentative (and partial) depiction of the work we see under this vision for the CERIF refactoring project in the medium term. euroCRIS is the custodian for the CERIF model, but we wouldn’t want this to become a bottleneck for anyone else interested in building functionality on top of what’s available right now, so clear modularity and separation of concerns would allow different communities of interest or practice to work independently on top of the core technology and models provided by CERIF. The key idea is factoring out the core model and then building models on top of it for applications or domains of higher levels of specificity, including:
- national and regional particularities, or
- specificities of particular scientific practices, infrastructures or methods.