The 8th Seminar of University Knowledge Bases - conference summary

A record number of applications and inspiring speeches by international guests – that would be the briefest summary of The 8th Seminar of University Knowledge Bases, held on 7-10 March this year.


The Seminar has been organized periodically since 2014, but its formula has changed since

then. In 2018, in addition to meetings with academic knowledge database users, the

conference organizers started presenting international experiences, which significantly

expanded the opportunities to share knowledge and discuss a variety of topics related to

current challenges in science management.


8th edition of the conference was attended by speakers from Poland and abroad, as well as a record number of participants. The organizers received nearly 500 applications, including

almost 100 from abroad. The participants included not only knowledge base users, but also

representatives of project offices, evaluation teams and scientists. Numerous international

guests and great interest clearly confirm significant growth of the Seminar’s rank. It’s currently the largest event in CEE area devoted (but not limited) to CRIS (Current ResearchInformation Systems). This year’s edition covered a number of topics that are strategic from the point of view of current challenges of the education system and research universities, such as the organization of evaluation processes, visibility of universities in world rankings or the use of CRIS systems for researcher evaluation. The presentation of international systems supporting universities, successfully used in countries like Norway, Spain and Italy, additionally emphasized the practical dimension of the event.


Evaluation process


One of the key points on the agenda was the Rectors' Panel participated by Krzysztof Jóźwik - Rector of Lodz University of Technology, Bogumiła Kaniewska - Rector of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Zygmunt Lalak - Vice Rector of the University of Warsaw

for Science, Mariusz Malinowski - Vice-Rector for Science, University of Warsaw and Elżbieta Żądzińska - Rector of the University of Lodz. The participants faced a very difficult topic, i.e. university evaluation as the basis for granting funds by the Ministry of Science. They discussed how challenging it is for universities to change evaluation criteria and what can be done to eliminate this risk factor, both in the context of setting fixed standards, as well as using the Omega-PSIR system. The debate turned out to be extremely interesting, as the panelists openly shared both personal and practical experiences on how their universities dealt with the challenge in the last evaluation period.


Visibility in rankings


The plenary session entitled "Institutional CRIS - towards visibility of research information" dealt with topics related to the visibility of universities and other research institutions in the international arena. The speakers discussed the mechanisms determining organization visibility, thus affecting the creation of competitive position.


International guests presented systems such as ORCID and OpenAIRE, which allow to identify the achievements of not only the institution, but also its individual researchers. Talk

devoted to Ranking Web described how university systems should operate in order to be

visible in external systems, as well as what can be done to retain visibility and be included in

prestigious rankings. On the other hand, the presentation on DataCite addressed the issue of proper accessing and storing research data. It’s important from the perspective of entities that grant funding for scientific research, which require the data used for publication to be easily identifiable to other researchers.


Future challenges


An important element of each edition of the Symposium is undoubtedly Omega-PSIR

system, which supports Polish universities in many aspects, including the evaluation process

or data collection, thus influencing the visibility of the institution in global rankings.


Since the first edition of the event, the system has been developed and its capabilities adjusted to the changing needs of the world of science, all propelled by discussions with the system users and inspirations from abroad. The changes’ effectiveness is evidenced by the growing interest in the system (in 2019 there were only a few installations, now there are already 40).


During the session "Omega-PSIR: development and plans" Jakub Koperwas and Mateusz Kamińśki from Sages and prof. Henryk Rybiński from Warsaw University of Technology presented further directions of the system development. In particular, they discussed how Omega-PSIR can support universities in employee evaluation, as well as in entering and archiving research data. The third topic that was discussed in the context of developing the system's functionality was the hitherto unused potential related to registering data on research projects and expanding the user base to include employees of project offices. This will make it possible to gather comprehensive information about a project in one place, which will translate into finding partners and promoting the university. Such functionality could be used in the implementation of all kinds of projects, including those publicly funded and implemented in cooperation with private businesses.


The 8th Seminar of University Knowledge Bases is an annual event organized by the Main

Library of Warsaw University of Technology, Institute of Computer Science of the

Warsaw University of Technology and Sages, the company responsible for Omega-PSIR

system implementation on Polish universities.

The current edition was organized under the media patronage of Perspektywy and Forum

Akademickie.



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