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The RAMS focuses on capturing E-Research activityflows so that they can be analysed, shared, re-used and adapted. This will lead to a national website providing a library of "actionable" best practice activityflows for common research processes and the Research Activity Management System (RAMS) to run them. This approach draws on the success of capturing and sharing "Learning Designs" within e-learning, and applies it to the challenges of people-based workflow in E-Research.


As part of the DEST-funded RAMP project, MELCOE is investigating the area of people-oriented workflows for research processes. This stream of work is researching and developing "RAMS" (the Research Activity Management System) to support "process-oriented" research requirements, such as:

  • managing the research enterprise lifecycle (from grant planning to grant submission, to project initiation, to project lifecycle management, to research outcome dissemination),
  • implementing auditable evaluation processes for assessing research quality (RQF assessor workflows, journal/conference peer review management, etc),
  • designing and tracking article submission processes for Institutional Repositories,
  • flexibly configuring and running online research collaboration processes (such as staged collaborative analysis and discussion for PhD/Postdocs around raw data, leading to interpretation, visualization, and ultimately publications), and
  • process-oriented research data collection from human subjects (such as in the humanities, and social and cognitive sciences).

The common element of the above examples is people-based workflow, or "activityflow". Activityflow is defined as workflow involving two or more human actors, often acting concurrently (not just sequentially) over multiple steps, potentially in multiple roles, co-ordinated by a software system that allows for authoring, running and tracking (including auditing) of activityflows. As many researchers collaborate across institutional boundaries, activityflows must be capable of running in distributed (trans-organisational) contexts.

A key focus of RAMS is capturing E-Research activityflows so that they can be analysed, shared, re-used and adapted via shared repositories of activityflows.

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