Blog Posts

SRA Presentation on Open Source Research Administration Software in San Francisco

Chris Thompson will be providing a presentation on Open Source Research Administration Software (Kuali Coeus) at the 2012 SRA Western/Northeast Sectional Meeting in San Francisco in March.  Chris will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of open source software, it's history and evolution.  He will also discuss the only currently available open source research administration software, Kuali Coeus.  Topics will include what's currently available in the application as well as what's planned in coming releases.  There will be ample time for questions and answers and a list of vendors, such as Moderas, who support Kuali Coeus will be provided for those who would like to learn more.

Financial Conflict of Interest Solution?

The coming regulation changes promulgated by NIH (42 C.F.R. Part 50, Subpart F) to Financial Conflict of Interest reporting are quickly appoaching.  The deadline for having the necessary changes in place is August 24th 2012 and people are starting to scramble for solutions.  The link to the NIH web pages that discusses these changes in detail is http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/coi/.

Moderas is thinking about developing a solution for Financial conflict of Intereste reporting so we've created a location for requirements to be gathered and for wire frames to be developed to start a conversation about what such an applicaiton should look like.  The site is completely open for people to see and share these requirements be they research administrators or even other vendors.  The link is http://moderas.mybalsamiq.com/projects/fcoi so check it out.  You can share your comments anonymously and ff you'd like to add mockups or make edits you'll be prompted for some basic information by the system so it know's who makes what changes.

We're looking forward to seeing how this initiative is received as we feel it may be a great solution for all our efforts going forward.

-Chris

Synopsis of technology discussed at the January FDP meeting

This is by no means a full story about the many things discussed in January's Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) meeting but just my insights into what I took away from the meeting. The big message was "just one system" and simplification of processes. 

Day one began with discussions about STAR metrics and how it could be expanded to include private information as well as public.  For those of you who haven't read up on it visit their website for more information on this voluntary reporting system.  There was talk about the possibility of this some day replacing the many other reports that are required to be provided to federal agencies which of course is a wonderful goal.  The notion was that there could be a single place to report the information and it would streamline your processes. 

Day one also brought a conversation on the System for Award Management or SAM.  The goal of SAM is to replace redundancies that exist in the Central Contractor Registration system (CCR) and the Online Registrations and Certifications Application (ORCA) as well as six other smaller systems.  For more information on SAM visit their website. SAM is slated to be released in the first half of 2012 and it appears they have a good plan for transitioning users from their current systems.

Finally on day one there was discussion about  the Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitæ or SciENcv.  SciENcv is supported by the STAR Metrics program and intends to gather relevant information about Researchers into an electronic CV that could be leveraged for submission and reporting to federal sponsors.  As stated on their website "The goal of SciENcv will be to make it as easy as possible for researchers to maintain pertinent and current CV information consistent with any current practices a scientist may engage in today".  They too hope to become a single source of data helping to eliminate redundancies.

On day two we discussed ORCID.  Their goal is "to solve the author/contributor name ambiguity problem in scholarly communications by creating a central registry of unique identifiers for individual researchers and an open and transparent linking mechanism between ORCID and other current author ID schemes. These identifiers, and the relationships among them, can be linked to the researcher's output to enhance the scientific discovery process and to improve the efficiency of research funding and collaboration within the research community".  This is another aggregation effort similar to SciENcv and in fact there was some discussion after the presentation about tying them together.  Here's the website on the ORCID effort you can visit for more information.

My take away from these discussions is everyone is trying to create new systems that will simplify the lives of researchers and research administrators. I think this is a lofty and noble goal and in fact it's what we attempt to do at Moderas so we're all for it.  My concern is that while I think their heart is in the right place they're talking about four new systems that you need to become familiar with so it's hard ot say they're not adding at least a little to the burden.  That's a problem in the IT industry, everyone sees the problem from their perspective and believes they have a one stop shop solution that will cure all your ills.  Heck we do it here too, we think you should adopt Kuali Coeus as your eRA system to support your end to end research administration needs and don't you think we started talking immediately about a STAR Metrics  and SciENcv interfaces? We've already talked to the SciENcv folks about requiring an ORCID so that we can integrate all three into Kuali Coeus.  We've also been looking into how to integrate with SAM so we're no different than everyone else who wants to provide you a solution.

I think if nothing else if federal agencies, non profits, and commercial companies are all trying to deliver integrated solutions researchers and research administrators can only profit from those efforts.  It's going to take some time to bring these efforts together but the good news is it appears there's a concerted effort to make it happen!

Please share your thought and comments about what you think about these efforts and any additional information you may have so everyone can benefit from your experience.

Export Control and Kuali Coeus Hosting

Export control in research administration has become a very hot topic and with the building pressure to move resources offsite the question is can your data be secure and meeting export control requirements if it's on the cloud? 

Thankfullly the answer is yes!  With the new export control compliant solutions such as Amazon's GOVcloud not only can you have Kuali Coeus hosting on a secured instance but the system is export control compliant.  In addition to assuring that the data is secured and not accessed on the server side Moderas can provide the front end validation necessary to assure your data is not accessible from export controlled or embargoed countries.  

If you would like more information about our standard hosting pricing please visit http://www.moderas.org/content/KC-Cloud and if you'd like more details about export control safe KC hosting contact sales@moderas.org

  

Tips on Implementing an eRA Solution

I've received more requests to post a presentation that we provided during one of our webinars.  This one was related to tips we offer related to the process of implementing an eRA solution.  As I mentioned in the session the information we provided is not Kuali Coeus specific and in fact isn't even eRA specific and would be helpful for any complicated software solution.

This presentation touches on project managment principles as well as lays out what we feel is a very successful model that is highly repeatable.  Like most presentations it really has 40% or so of the information provided so please feel free to contact us at info@moderas.org or (518) 412.2020 if you have any questions.

-Chris

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