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Preliminary Program for CASRAI Occupy Impact Conference

Posted by David Baker on Tue, 2012-07-31 09:46

We have a preliminary program ready. The following sessions and speakers
are confirmed but we are still working out the scheduling of these
sessions across the conference days. Additional sessions and speakers
(including workshops) are still in development. We will post updates to
the program here. In addiiton to plenary sessions we think we will
divide the program into two tracks. Although there are focus overlaps
these tracks are primarily either focused on policy or implementation.

Please take advantage of early registration savings and book now:

Here is a current list of sessions:


  • Rémi Quirion, OC, PhD, FRSC, CQ Chief Scientist of Québec, Fonds de
    recherche du Québec - CANADA
  • Claire Donovan, Reader, Health Economics Research Group, Brunel
    University - UK
  • Cameron Neylon, Advocacy Director, Public Library of Science - US


Lightning sessions are still under development and will be posted soon.


Linking Academic Research with Impact: An Ethnographic Study of
Research Use in a Public Health Unit

ABSTRACT: This ethnographic study sought to understand the use of
academic research from the perspective of the “user” in contexts of
policy and practice. In particular, it sought to gain a better
understanding of the relevance and application of academic research.
The overarching question guiding the study is: how does academic
research interact with programmatic decisions within a public health
unit (PHU)? The study offers a unique view of research use: the ‘users’
view in a policy and practice setting. The PHU uses the term ‘research’
interchangeably with ‘evidence’, thereby rendering academic research as
a form of evidence, along with in-house generated data/knowledge;
program evaluations; experiential knowledge, best practices, cultural
and political evidence, and expert input. The results of the study
indicate a more complex relationship of research use that goes beyond
the current conceptualization of the interactive relationship between
researcher and ‘user’. The results suggest the public health unit, is
not only a discerning user of research, but also an intermediary
knowledge broker sharing evidence with colleagues and community
stakeholders. It begins to suggest that researchers may have a less
central role in influencing how their research is accessed, used and
applied than currently understood and the potential value of knowledge
brokers and intermediaries in research use and impact. The different
ways in which the public health unit engaged with academic research will
be described in this presentation.


  • Amy Lemay, PhD Student, University of Toronto - CANADA

Evaluation is hard. Your numbers should be hard. But your stories
should be soft

ABSTRACT: What counts as metrics for evaluating the impact of research?
How do you mix quantitative and qualitative metrics? Do you use proxy
measures and hope that no one asks you to explain how they map onto
benefits to Canada or do you create a portfolio of stories of impact and
worry that your VP wants you to quanitfy a return on investment? How do
you compare impact when context is so variable? This panel session will
feature local practitioners of quantitiative and qualitative methods of
articulating the impacts of research on society and a systems level
evaluation expert who will make the case that both are important if only
we could figure out how to marry the two.


  • David Phipps, Director, Research Services & Knowledge Exchange, York
    University - CANADA
  • Martin Kirk, Director, Research Services Office, University of British
    Columbia - CANADA
  • Dr. Claire Donovan – Reader in Assessing Research Impact at the Health
    Economics Research Group, Brunel University - UK

Achievement Reporting: Capturing Outcomes of the Social Sciences &

ABSTRACT: SSHRC's Achievement Reporting initiative will introduce
innovative new reporting tools to simplify information gathering and
facilitate the sharing of results and impacts in real time -- during and
beyond the period of funding. This project aims to reduce the response
burden by maximizing the re-use of data already collected, AND to
facilitate research, research administration and knowledge mobilization.


  • Juliana Bravo, Senior Evaluation and Performance Officer, Social
    Sciences and Humanities Research Council - Canada
  • additional SSHRC rep to be confirmed

Approaches to the Economic Impacts of Research
ABSTRACT: This session will discuss evolving data, tools, and methods
for assessing the economic impacts of science and research at multiple
points in the chain linking inputs to impact, particularly the approach
of STAR METRICS. This model is tied to individual researchers rather
than the direct output of those individuals and consists of two phases:
the first tracks direct workforce outcomes from science; the second is a
platform to measure secondary and tertiary efforts of science. Inputs,
such as grant funding, provide the necessary resources to researchers,
who then produce outputs such as patents. By creating data linkages to
items such as patents, data can be filtered to reveal possible
qualitative approaches to assessing the outputs. Science works in steps,
and so having data to understand each step can be important to achieving
particular goals.


  • Bruce Weinberg, Professor, Ohio State University, National Bureau of
    Economic Research (NBER) - US
  • Julia Lane, Senior Managing Economist, American Institutes for
    Research - US
  • Ron Lai, Fellow at the Institute of Quantitative Social Science at
    Harvard University - US

Beyond Input and Output 'We Are Like a Dog Tied to the Accountability

ABSTRACT: The Stoic Cleanthes once likened the human condition to a dog
tied to a cart, forced to follow where it leads. But such a situation
still conditions a choice: one can either resist the motion of the cart
until exhaustion demands submission, or one can accept the cart’s
momentum and make it one’s own. This session attempts to do the latter,
to stretch the bounds of disciplinary research evaluation; to imagine
alternative ways of valuing academic work, and to help academics embrace
and take ownership of impact. The session will feature four speakers
with experience in impact assessment, research evaluation, philosophy of
science policy, and the theory and practice of interdisciplinarity. This
panel touches on a number of identified conference themes, most notably
on the implications of what we measure for how impact is identified and
rewarded, as well as the relative roles of quantitative and qualitative
indicators in developing balanced impact portfolios. It is a particular
attitude about impact assessment that the panel wishes to discuss, and
the outcomes of this discussion are aimed at providing fruitful grounds
for developing a more proactive attitude among researchers toward the
identification and measurement of research impacts.


  • Kelli Barr – Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for the Study
    of Interdisciplinarity, University of North Texas - US
  • Dr. J. Britt Holbrook – Assistant Director of the Center for the Study
    of Interdisciplinarity, University of North Texas - US
  • Dr. Claire Donovan – Reader in Assessing Research Impact at the Health
    Economics Research Group, Brunel University - UK
  • Dr. Robert Frodeman – Director of the Center for the Study of
    Interdisciplinarity, University of North Texas - US

Assessing faculty productivity and institutional research performance
using publication, citation key performance indicators and funding

ABSTRACT: Accurately tracking the grant applications submitted by
leading research universities each year is both time sensitive and time
consuming. The pressure to provide instantaneous analysis for major
competitions is enormous. With thousands of applications every year this
is no small feat.
An institution must demonstrate return on investment in all areas,
including sponsored research. This presentation will cover various
bibliometric indicators used to measure research performance, including
article output, citation count, h-index, citation impact, etc. looking
in particular at grant funding and tracking the impact of awarded
research in the literature. Assessment at the institutional, as well as
researcher level will also be discussed.


  • Ann Kushmerick, Manager, Research Evaluation and Bibliometric Data,
    Thomson Reuters - US

Building and Leveraging an Integrated Semantic Research Information

ABSTRACT: The VIVO project and adopting institutions have over the past
few years transformed a single-university research information system
into a dynamic open-source community attracting attention
internationally as well as in the U.S. This talk introduces VIVO and
its key semantic principles including the use of Linked Open Data and
query endpoints, the VIVO ontology and its connections to other
ontologies and terminology standards, and an overview of the range of
institutions and projects working with semantic technologies, including
the CTSAconnect project combining researcher, research resource and
clinical information. Much of the talk will focus on how to leverage the
structure and relationships inherent in VIVO and other semantic tools to
discover and mine connections, develop new ways to provide scholarly
attribution and identify expertise, and support search and direct data
interoperability across multiple institutions. We will explore the
potential impact of the emergence of a growing body of semantic data
about research have for individual institutions, for virtual
organizations targeting a shared research domain, and for international
efforts to promote closer integration of research information systems.
In closing, we will describe VIVO and CTSAconnect's efforts to work
with the researcher identifier, ontology, scholarly attribution, and
research data standards communities and review recent progress and
remaining challenges.


  • Jon Corson-Rikert, Cornell University - US
  • Brian J. Lowe, Cornell University - US

Performance Measurement - A Project Management Approach
ABSTRACT: "What cannot be measured cannot be planned”. This holds true
in all circumstances, however, it is mandatory and inevitable for the
outcome measurement. The presentation offers a project management
approach to what it took at OICR to improve the performance measurement
system, overcome the challenges and identify areas for further
improvement. Outcome measurement requires concerted effort and a
well-defined program that needs longer term commitment/resources within
any organization starting with the logical planning models. In the
short-term most organizations roll out collection of data on
pre-identified key performance indicators and/or outcome indicators that
result in measurement of quantitative and qualitative outputs. In the
OICR project the team was reflecting on how far down the chain of impact
we should attempt to measure. This question was particularly relevant in
the context of leveraged funding and reporting on initiatives whose
funding have ended but got their start from OICR. To what extent can we
attribute their success to OICR?


  • Renu Minhas, Director, Grants & Awards, Ontario Institute for Cancer
    Research - CANADA

Research Information Use Cases from the VIVO Experience
Contributors: Stella Mitchell, Cornell University; Paul Albert, Weill
Cornell Medical College

ABSTRACT: VIVO is an open source semantic web application for
integrating and sharing information about researchers and their
activities and outputs at a single institution while supporting
discovery of related work and expertise across a distributed network.
Originally developed and implemented at Cornell, VIVO is now in use a
many universities worldwide and has also been adopted by government
agencies, international organizations, and professional associations.
VIVO is designed to complement existing institutional systems of record
by providing a normalized layer of publicly visible information
organized for discovery and viewing via multiple points of entry and
output facets and views. This talk will review several use cases from
the contributors' own experiences as well as demonstrate examples of
VIVO implementations and data being applied in conjunction with academic
portfolio management, research activity overviews, research data
registries, digital libraries, and research output discovery.


  • Jon Corson-Rikert, Cornell University - US
  • Brian J. Lowe, Cornell University - US
  • Kristi Holmes, Washington University in St. Louis - US

Data Flows: Putting Standards-based Processes into Place at Funders
and Institutions

ABSTRACT: The research community can applaud itself on the success made
with CASRAI in bringing together the key players and advancing a common
platform for the reuse, sharing and comparing of information. But what
now? Funding agencies have started to implement the standards in their
systems, vendors are also implementing the standards in their
commercially available off-the-shelf products. This is a good thing. But
with systems that can 'speak CASRAI' coming online we as a community
have new questions to ask. Where do these standards fit into the full
lifecycle of our daily work? What concrete steps can we take (within the
funding agency and within a college or university) to reap the rewards
(time and cost) and increase our capacity to advance this new approach?
In this session I will walk through the key stages in the research
administration lifecycle and speak to how each can and should be
affected by the presence of information standards and compliant software
for information management and exchange.


  • Adil Hamdouna, Executive Director, eVision Inc. - CANADA

Federation and the Necessity of Standards: A Case Study
ABSTRACT: Federated scenarios, in which different research information
systems are interacting with each other in a loosely coupled manner are
increasing in number nowadays (especially as a result of efforts by
CASRAI). Motivated to accomplish an added value by collaborating with
each other, for instance, through the exchange of research information,
such as meta data about publications or projects, systems within a
federation keep their autonomy, while enabling inter-organizational
business processes. In this presentation we will give concrete examples
of federated scenarios, both to demonstrate the manifestations of a
federation and to emphasize the need and scope of standards in federated


  • Jan Maier, Founder/CEO, AVEDAS Inc. - GERMANY
  • Thorsten Hoellrigl (PhD) - IT Consultant and Project leader, AVEDAS
    Inc. - GERMANY