FAQ

 

 

What is the main objective of the DHARE project?

DHARE is a national project the primary deliverable of which is the design and development of a service that will assign unique identifiers to researchers and and to research organizations/institutions in Greece. Via this service, for example, any reference to an individual who has (co-)authored a research publication is to be made by means of an identifier that refers to the person or organization in question with no ambiguity. Possible sources of uncertainty to this type of referencing may comprise, for example, the existence of another researcher with the same name, or the existence of more than one variations to the writing/phrasing of the name of a given individual, e.g. "Ioannis Christidis", "I.A. Christidis", "John Christides", and "I. Hristidis" may comprise variations in the writing of the name of the same individual.

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What does "DHARE" mean?

D.H.A.R.E. = Directory of Hellenic Academic and Research Entities

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What entities are exactly the academic and research ones?

Academic and research entities (ARE) consist of individuals and organizations that pursue and promote research. Academic and/or research staff at higher education institutions (including students who publish research papers), researchers at state or private research centers, the higher education institutions as well as the research centers themselves comprise examples of ARE.

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An individual identified to comprise an instance of an academic/research entity (ARE) does necessary to be affiliated to (for example: employed by) an ARE?

No. The individual in question may very well be a high school teacher, for example. High schools do not comprise ARE instances, still the stated teacher may be one who conducts research and publishes research papers in his/her field of interest. Consequently, the latter will be assigned a DHARE identifier (ID) and will maintain his/her personal entry profile, whereas his employer organization will not be encoded as such with the service.

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Can one safely assume that an individual who (co-)authors research journal or conference articles automatically qualifies to comprise an entity in the DHARE service?

Yes. In fact, it is this type of research activity that dictates the need for the individual in question to be able to get identified uniquely despite the variations of his/her name across the author lists of his/her publications, instances of synonymity, etc. Furthermore, DHARE entities comprise individuals who participate in national- or EU-funded research projects, university PhD degree candidates, etc.

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Unique identification of academic and research entities: how about combining names with additional information like the email address to achieve it? Why bother introducing yet another code/identifier?

Things are not always that simple. Parameters to be taken into consideration include (a) synonymies, (b) surname changes, e.g. by marriage, (c) variations in the writing of a name across the various research publications of the same individual/author, e.g. "Κώστας Χρηστίδης", Κωνσταντίνος Χρηστίδης", "Κ. Χρηστίδης", "K. Christides", "C. Christidis", etc., (d) variations in the writing of the name of a given organization/institution, e.g. "Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών", "Εθνικό Καποδιστριακό Πανεπιστήμια Αθηνών", "Εθνικό και Καποδιστριακό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών", "Καποδιστριακό Πανεπιστήμιο", "Athens University", "University of Athens", "National Kapodistrian University of Athens", "National and Kapodistrian University of Athens", etc., etc.

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How about having the entities in question be uniquely identified at the international (as opposed to the national) level?

There is definitely an international dimension to the need for a unique identification of the academic and research entities. A number of systems that do this are either operational already or under development, today. Behind the corresponding initiatives stand academic institutions and/or non-profit organizations at the national or international level (e.g. the DAI and MIMAS projects), or private international bibliography database providers, like Thomson, Elsevier/SCOPUS, and ORCID. An important development comprises the establishment of international standards relating to the unique identification of individuals (academics, researchers) and the migration of the corresponding data/information from system to system in a way that is irrespective of the operating system used (e.g. the MARCXML format).

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The moment when a Greek academic/research entity is assigned an ID that identifies it uniquely at the international level, why bother operating yet another analogous service at the national level?

Maintaining a reliable and up-to-date identification system for academic and research entities involves demanding data updating procedures that are hard to implement at the international level. Academic and research entities tend to always be 'on the move': individuals change: (a) jobs/employers, (b) names, (c) email addresses, (f) telephone numbers, research organizations/institutions undergo physical and/or structural changes, i.e. they are (a) established, (b) terminated, (c) merged with one or more analogous entities to form a new entity for the service, (d) divided to produce dividends of an analogous type, etc. Procedures that guarantee consistency and reliability of the relevant information are next to impossible to implement at the international level. Furthermore, there is a clear need to guarantee consistency in the availability of such information in the local (Greek) language, a need that dictates the availability of the corresponding support service in Greece. Automating and decentralizing the updating of the corresponding DHARE entity profile contents is not the solution to this problem: there will always be individuals (HE faculty members, or organization/institution representatives who will be looking for local support, cases of researchers who are no longer in life, etc.

Last but not least, operating an academic and research entities identification system at the national level makes it easier to establish a national policy on the matter, plus identify instances of intentional or unintentional misuse of the service, for example: an individual reporting affiliation to an organization/institution when there isn't any. Summarizing, the operation of the DHARE service is expected to facilitate plus ensure the reliability of the corresponding information content in applications and services both at the national and at the international level and it will in this respect comprise both a realistic and productive reference tool and solution that is to uniquely identify the entities in question in a reliable, unambiguous way.

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Considering the above (8), who is to act as the co-ordinator of the DHARE service in Greece?

The co-ordination of the use of the DHARE service in Greece comprises a task that is mainly to be undertaken by the academic libraries staff. Academic libraries are to identify staff who will be assigned authorized operator role (agent) to the service. When the latter is to become fully operational, DHARE agents will be able to create and maintain/update user profiles, plus they will be able to check the consistency and the integrity of registered data that relate to their organization/institute. When erroneous data is spotted to have been registered in the database, they will take action to correct/amend them, for example: when two discrete user profiles are found to relate to the same researcher/academic entity. Evidently, there is a clear need for DHARE agents to be directly in touch with the DHARE group of administrators. The role of the former will be to operate a productive link with the DHARE users community.

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Why the academic (and not only) libraries in the role of the DHARE agent(s) and not the (extended) DHARE support team members themselves?

By construction, the DHARE service is to comprise a reference point which all types of applications and services will turn to in order to administer specialized information relating to Greek academic and research entities. By nature, academic libraries comprise the most appropriate agent authorities for managing information relating to researchers in the modern academic and research environment. If any other third body were to become involved, this could only complicate things and introduce unnecessary and counter-productive delays in the overall procedure. It not by chance that it was the Hellenic Academic Libraries Link (HEAL-Link) consortium who have been the first to identify the need for a national service that uniquely identifies academic and research entities in Greece, and it was them who have proceeded to propose and establish/run the current DHARE project.

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