FCT provides funding for research conducted across the country and tracks and manages research grants and output. It found that its information was contained in a disconnected array of national and international systems, data silos, and formats, and multiple systems managed specific components of research tracking, such as grants, thesis and dissertations, and research units.

Portugal had two national CV platforms, and multiple systems performing one core function: research output management. Most systems were unable to effectively exchange data, and they were not aligned with international data standards. To improve the infrastructure for researchers, institutions and itself, FCT identified that a new technical and interoperability framework was needed to provide researchers a one-stop-shop of resources pertaining to their research, foster collaboration between individuals and across organizations and support the development of consistent reporting and impact assessment.

The key to providing the Portuguese government with a reliable and robust way to manage the nation’s research activity lay in restructuring the data architecture and systems and adopting appropriate standards and persistent identifiers for all entities represented. This led to the development of PTCRIS (Portuguese Current Research Information System) – a system of systems or “SoS,” providing an infrastructure to transform the many information systems supporting scientific activity into a single, coherent, and integrated ecosystem, designed to ultimately be interoperable with the Grant Management Systems.

The framework consolidates functions and is built upon standards to ensure its long-term functionality. PTCRIS required unique, persistent, and globally-accepted identifiers for both researchers and organizations. ORCID and Ciência ID, the Portuguese national researcher identifier, were selected for individuals. Also, DOIs will soon be assigned for grants.

The resultant national organizational database represents a significant step towards our ultimate goal which is to develop a coherent and integrated information ecosystem supporting scientific activity.

João Moreira Head of Scientific Information, Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology

About Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology

Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia) is the Portuguese public agency that supports science, technology and innovation, in all scientific domains, under responsibility of the Ministry for Science, Technology and Higher Education. Since March 2012, FCT has coordinated public policies for the Information and Knowledge Society in Portugal, after the integration of the Knowledge Society Agency-UMIC. In October 2013, FCT took over the attributions and responsibilities of the Fundação para a Computação Científica Nacional (FCCN), [Foundation for National Scientific Computation].

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