Massey seeks new research database

Massey University is looking for a new database for its research activities.

Massey University is looking for a new database for its research activities.

The database is needed to record the university’s research output, in preparation for a new funding system for research by tertiary institutes.

The performance-based research fund comes into effect next year. It will fully replace the current research funding programme, which is based on student numbers, by 2007.

Paul Cooper, applications development manager at Massey’s Wellington campus, says Massey presently uses a system developed in-house for that task.

“Its purpose is to record the outputs so we can refer back to them — it’s a bibliographic tool.”

The university wants a tool that can better perform that function, he says. “Like all universities and polytechnics, we’ll be required to report in more detail in order to receive funding in the future.”

A request for information from possible suppliers closes on August 2 and Cooper says Massey is “open minded” about the nature of potential offerings.

Project head Warwick Slinn says the university is looking for greater flexibility in search methods, rather than increased capacity.

“At the moment, search methods are limited — you can only search by category or department.

“We want to be able to search by one year, five years, three to five years.”

Another requirement is that the database be adaptable.

“We’re looking for a long-term system that can be re-configured over time and we’d like it to be web-based, so that both users within Massey and outsiders can access it. We’re also looking at the possibility of it being interfaced with other Massey systems, such as human resources.”

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