This project addresses the need to have greater knowledge of how to design scalable and reliable solutions for research information and data curation by examining researchers’ perceived value of research information and data services; motivations to participate in and commit to online research information management systems, and contribute to research information curation.

Accurate research identity identification and determination are essential for effective grouping, linking, aggregation, and retrieval of digital scholarship; evaluation of the research productivity and impact of individuals, groups, and institutions; and identification of expertise and skills. The reliability and scalability of those services will be critical to the success of national, distributed, digital information infrastructure of research information management. There are many different research identity management systems, often referred to as research information management (RIM) or current research information systems (CRIS), from publishers, libraries, universities, search engines and content aggregators with different data models, coverage, and quality. Although knowledge curation by professionals usually produces the highest quality results, it may not be scalable because of its high cost. The literature on online communities shows that successful peer curation communities which are able to attract and retain enough participants can provide scalable knowledge curation solutions of a quality that is comparable to the quality of professionally curated content. Hence, the success of online RIM systems may depend on the number of contributors and users they are able to recruit, motivate, and engage in research information curation.

The outcomes of this exploratory research include but not be limited to a qualitative theory of research identity data and information practices of researchers, quantitative model(s) of researchers’ priorities for different online RIM services, the factors that may affect their participation in and commitment to online RIM systems, and their motivations to engage in RIM. The study’s findings can enhance our knowledge of the design of research identity data/metadata models, services, quality assurance activities, and, mechanisms for recruiting and retaining researchers for provision and maintenance of identity data. Design recommendations based on this study can be adopted in diverse settings and can produce improved services for multiple stakeholders of research identity data such as researchers, librarians, students, university administrators, funding agencies, government, publishers, search engines, and the general public.