Researchfish July 2017 News & Updates

July 12, 2017

User Group Updates 


The User Group Change Proposal has now been sent out to all Researchfish subscribers, detailing the next steps and suggesting the new structure - a copy of this can be found here


If anyone would like to be put forward to position as chair for the steering board or any of the sub-groups, please contact Ian Viney. We are also looking for more RO representatives in this group. The RSB group aims to be much smaller than the previous user group and so room hire requirements are lower, which should make hosting more manageable. Researchfish are happy to assist cover with refreshments if needed.

If you would like further information on this or if you have any questions, please contact Ian Viney at MRC or Katy Witney at Researchfish.

Communication Subgroup 


Alongside the changes to the governance structure noted above we are also working to set up the Researchfish Communications Subgroup. The general remit of this group will be to promote effective coordinated and consistent communications relating to the Researchfish platform for all users, this will include aims such as common clear messaging, consistent terminology, and streamlining of appropriate communication channels/routes.


Whilst this group will help and support all funders, we’d very much like to get the group established and active in the next few months so that it can input into the communication planning for the multi-funder submission period scheduled for Feb/March 2017.

If you, or one of your colleagues, are interested in joining this subgroup, or you’d just like to know more, please contact Beverley Sherbon.  We would particularly like to involve colleagues who work as communications specialists, to contribute expert advice to the group.

Question Set Changes

The Question Set Sub Group (QSSG) met virtually on Friday 24th February to go through the current list of areas for review and also specific points of feedback from users. The group agreed areas of priority for the coming year, these include but are not limited to the following:

  • Review of Software and Technical Products and Research Databases and Models

  • Inclusion of Patient and Public Involvement

  • Review of question guidance text (for accuracy and consistency)

  • Language review to ensure suitability of a non-medical audience

  • Review of high level sectors used e.g. university, company, charity, public etc

Small working groups will be established for each of these to work on the details, and propose changes to the QSSG, if you would like to get involved please contact Andrew Knowles or Beverley Sherbon.



The two year Interoperability pilot looking at the feasibility of information exchange between Research Organisations and Researchfish has successfully concluded. Following this pilot, the ability to upload publications with either a DOI or PubMed ID and an award reference in Researchfish will be rolled out to subscribing Research Organisations later in the year. Stay tuned for more information about when this feature will be released, and lessons learned from the pilot that should help organisations interested in making use of this new feature.

The two year pilot on publication interoperability may have ended but the interoperability agenda has not. A new pilot is beginning to look at the exchange of non-publication outputs such as data sets, artistic performances and clinical trials. Expect to hear more about the work of this pilot over the coming months.


Adventures with Squish the Fish

You may have already been introduced to our 'Squishy Fishies' who have gone down a storm at our recent events. As we are now coming into holiday season, we thought that Squishy could go on some adventures!


Follow us on Twitter (@Researchfish) and upload a picture of your #squishyfishy on holiday or at home, showing us what they are getting up to! Most adventurous fishy wins.

Winners and prizes will be announced in the next newsletter. If you do not already have a fish, please contact Katy Witney and one will be sent to you. Please be aware that limited numbers are available, so first come first served!


Strategy of Impact Conference 2017


On November 16th we are holding our first Strategy of Impact Conference at The Tower of London. Senior executives from each of your organisations have been invited to join other thought leaders from both funders and research organisations to discuss how impact is changing research. More information can be found here.


Event Roundup

We have been busy recently as we’ve entered the conference season. We were in Liverpool for the ARMA conference, in Stockholm for the AESIS conference and in London for the CASRIA UK meeting. Upcoming events include:

  • AESIS - Boosting Impact of Social Sciences and Humanities - 20-21 September, Cardiff, UK

  • ISRIA 2017 - 8-12 October, Copenhagen, Denmark

  • AEA - Evaluation 2017 - 6-11 November, Washington, D. C., US

RO Focus Groups


The RO focus group held its second meeting at the beginning of June, detailing the steps we will be taking to improve the RO interface.


As many of you may already be aware, following the changes to the PI interface we would now like to focus on improving our ‘e-val’ functionality, in particular for Research Organisations to allow them to further support the PI’s during submission periods.

Many of the queries that came from the focus group are going to be addressed by our new enhanced Search tool, such as further award sorting and filtering and reporting for nodes.


The Activity tab will also gain the ability to filter based on funder/research organisation and response code, for example. To go alongside these new changes we are developing new training and ‘How to’ guides and videos for e-val, to be accessible for all users.




Ransomware Attack 

"We have not been impacted by the recent ransomware attack highlighted in the press. Our infrastructure is protected by appropriate firewall technology and we maintain a program of regularly patching the server software when security fixes are released by the OS vendors. In addition, our software deployment processes and peer review of all changes ensures malware cannot be released into the server environment. Our security policies for Researchfish employee equipment also ensure that staff workstations are protected from the thread of malware and other forms of attack." Giles Milton - Chief Technical Officer

New Community Members


We are pleased to welcome The Alan Turing Institute, PETRAS Consortium and National Breast Cancer Foundation Australia as new members of the community. Full list of members.





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