What can researchers do to contribute to Research Infrastructures?

The relationship between RIs and researchers is a symbiotic one. While individual  researchers reap the benefits from being part of a RI, RIs themselves exist only by the grace of the researchers – their user base. Therefore, one of the most important factors proving the legitimacy and impact of a RI, is its active user base. Even if the content and services a RI has to offer are of the highest quality, the amount of users and nature of their use determines the RIs impact.

The experiences of users offer many opportunities for RI managers and developers for further improvement of the RI. They can indicate which tools work well and which don’t, they show which data helps in their research, and help identifying blind spots.

Apart from using existing features and information (e.g. services and data) of a RI, researchers can also actively contribute to them. These contributions can be made in numerous ways, from providing data to mouth-to-mouth-propaganda, as well as co-organising workshops with RIs.

As also research infrastructures increasingly have to prove their impact (see the submodule Introduction to the impact of RIs and its measurement) it is important to provide them with evidence to do so. After all, if something was helpful for your research, why not tell the whole world about it?

The topic of data citation and software citation and how to include references to RIs is quite new with several challenges to overcome as the current citation system was created for papers, articles, and books. There are several initiatives dedicated to this topic including members from RIs. A prominent international initiative is for example the FORCE11 Software Citation Implementation Group.

To find out what some RI experts think about giving credits, watch the following videos.

Watch Steven Krauwer (CLARIN ERIC) and  Arjan van Hessen (CLARIAH) reflecting on the importance of giving credits.


Is it already common to give credits to a RI? Find out what  Steven Krauwer thinks about it and watch the video!

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Arjan van Hessen argues for a better payment of researchers. Is he talking about higher salaries? Watch the vidoe and find it out!

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