The Research Councils UK launched a new outputs collection system titled “Research Outcomes System (ROS)” on the 24th of November, 2011. The intention of the ROS is to provide a web based system that will allow principal investigators to enter their outputs and findings associated with RCUK sponsored research.
The ROS is based on current collection system used by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), but will also be used by Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC). For the foreseeable future, grants for which the MRC or STFC are the primary funder will continue to use the e-Val system, and grants for which NERC is the primary funder will continue to use their Research Outputs Database (ROD). However, efforts will be made to feed data between the ROS and e-Val systems.
One of the primary features of the new ROS is that it will allow entry of outcomes and findings at any time during the life of a research grant or beyond the active years of the research. This reflects the truth that the impact of a particular project can be recognized at any time of its life cycle, including farther into the future. This will allow all outcomes of a project funded by one of the four research councils participating to be directly attributed to the grant.
Another important piece that will reduce required effort and time expended on output collection is that the ROS will, where possible, accommodate the requirements of the Research Excellence Framework (REF). Researchers will be able to use data within the ROS when it comes time to prepare the REF submissions.
Additional information, along with a FAQ document on links to a variety of additional information, as well as access to the ROS, which is provided via Je-S authentication, can be found here.