Research information in hbo: exploring needs

In 2020, SURF carried out a foresight study to investigate how universities of applied sciences can best implement the registration of information on practice-based research. The aim is to meet the (information) need and thus make practice-based research manageable, accountable and findable.

Studenten werken in bibliotheek

Research information in hbo: a next step

With already more than 700 professors, practice-oriented research occupies an increasingly important place within hbo. Together, they contribute to improvements at organisations and companies, with impact in both practice and education. At the same time, funding bodies, the Code of Conduct on Scientific Integrity and the Branch Protocol for Quality Assurance in Research are making increasing demands on practice-based research. There is a growing need to be able to register information about research. This makes it possible to:

  • have insight into the results of practice-based research
  • be able to properly account for the resources spent on research
  • make all outcomes maximally visible and retrievable.

Exploring colleges

Studenten individueel aan tafels in open ruimte met verschillende devices

In coordination with universities of applied sciences, SURF conducted an exploration of their needs in terms of research information in 2020. In doing so, we took into account the diversity of the universities of applied sciences. We conducted 20 interviews at eight universities of applied sciences and talked to information specialists, researchers, grant advisors and policy advisors, among others. The results of the interviews were processed into an advisory report (July 2020) and a number of recommendations. One of the recommendations puts the focus on the exchange of information between colleges, not on a system. This involves agreements on what information is exchanged and the (inter)national standards with which this is done.

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Onderzoeksinformatie in het hbo

The next step

A new project 'Research information in HBO' was launched at SURF in 2023. This project should help universities of applied sciences take the next step. It will focus on knowledge sharing, exchanging tools, but will also explore the possibility of jointly building a solution.

The recommendations from the advisory report are taken to heart in this project. For instance, a joint basis for registering a minimum set of research information is being sought, and efforts are being made to reach agreements on what information is exchanged and the (inter)national standards with which this is done.

In the meantime, SURF also remains in discussion with the Association of Universities of Applied Sciences, Regieorgaan SIA and other stakeholders.

Interfaces with ongoing initiatives

Registering research information is also important for the Publinova (formerly NPPO) initiative. In the short term, Publinova also requires the supply of research information. After all, such a platform only pays off if it is ultimately fed with research information from universities of applied sciences. This requires one or more source systems to do so efficiently. However, many universities of applied sciences do not yet have source systems for research information. They explicitly seek cooperation to jointly outsource or develop IT solutions.

In the national Digital Competence Centre for Applied Research (DCC-PO), affiliated universities of applied sciences can share and develop knowledge on, among other things, standards and procedures for research information.

Finally, research information is needed to realise Open Science ambitions and, above all, to test them.

More information?

Want to know more about research data from colleges? Then take a look at the frequently asked questions.

To frequently asked questions