The Common European Research Information Format (CERIF) is the standard that the EU recommends to its member states for recording information about research activity. Since version 1.6 it has included specific support for recording metadata for datasets. It is developed and maintained by EuroCRIS. The current version is 1.5, but the version 1.6 model has been available for testing and review since 24 July 2013. CERIF is: (A) A concept about research entities and their relationships – Specification (Conceptual Level); (B) A description of research entities and their relationships – Model (Logical Level); (C) A formalization of research entities and their relationships – Database Scripts (Physical Level); (D) The data model (data-centric) allows for a (metadata) representation of research entities, their activities / interconnections (research) and their output (results) as well as high flexibility with formal (semantic) relationships, enables quality maintenance, archiving, access and interchange of research information and supports knowledge transfer to decision makers, for research evaluation, research managers, strategists, researchers, editors and the general public. After the hand-over of the custodianship of CERIF to euroCRIS in 2000 the original EU Working Group on Research Databases evolved into the very active euroCRIS CERIF Task Group, which has led CERIF through various upgrades and extensions. Ultimate aims of CERIF are to enable the ERA (European Research Area) e-infrastructure through standardization, integration and interchange and added-value services and to serve as middle (interoperability) layer for (EU) research information.