Standard Information Agreements
A CASRAI Standard Information Agreement (shortened to 'agreement' and formerly called 'profile') is a specification of the included information elements and the terms, definitions and controlled vocabularies needed to maintain a common understanding during any research information sharing. The agreements (including terms and definitions) are written in plain, non-technical, language meant to be clear to the subject-matter experts who are users of the information.
Every CASRAI agreement includes the following components.
Terms & Definitions
Objects & Attributes
Tech and business etc.
For the purposes of understanding the CASRAI mission the term 'research information is defined broadly and includes information (and underlying data) about all inputs, processes, outputs, outcomes and impacts of the research and scholarship enterprise. For convenience and disambiguation 'research information' is differentiated from 'research data' - but both concepts include 'information' and 'data' dimensions and there is overlap. In CASRAI nomenclature, 'research information' includes (but is not limited to) information about:
- People engaged in research,
- Organizations playing a role in the performance or funding of research (including industry partners),
- Equipment and other assets that are used in the performance of research,
- Funding invested in research,
- Processes used by management and administration during the conduct of research,
- Outputs/Outcomes of research, including but not limited to traditional publications,
- Impacts of research upon other research and researchers as well as upon broader society (including but not limited to economic and cultural)
In short, the CASRAI definition of 'research information' encompasses all information produced by the various stakeholders in the research enterprise (the research logic model).
Metadata is defined in various ways, in simple terms like 'data about data' or in more complex, multi-varied 'eye of the beholder' terms that must take into account the perspective of the beholder (what is metadata in one view is data in another). CASRAI recognizes these distinctions but for simplicity sake in facilitating the collaborative development of information agreements, avoids using the term and, instead, sees everything as a simple information element of use to some user in a process.