Researchers get first taste of new data management system

9 July 2012

Researchers in the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment have had their first taste of a data management system that integrates University research data storage with the Australian National Data Storage (ANDS).

The Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, together with the School of Biological Sciences and ICT has been working on the new data management system. On 13 June, researchers in the Faculty had their first taste of the system and their reactions were enthusiastic.

Associate Professor Willem Vervoort, who has acted as the main stakeholder for the Faculty, said "This is a major step for the Faculty. It will allow harvesting of all older data as well as having a integrated system for new data that will keep our data safe and visible.

"The most exciting bit is that we can now see much more easily where all the data in the Faculty is. This will greatly improve our ability to collaborate"

The new Agriculture and Environmental data store allows for searching across different research projects and research groups as well as advertising the Faculty's data in ANDS.

Making individual researcher's data visible and "discoverable" means using consistent terminology as well as developing metadata schema to describe the content of the data. The metadata can be seen as the blurb on the cover of a book. This is important for other people to understand the scope and timeframe of the data as well as collection methods and access.

The data store also enables more efficient management of data within research groups. This means that data can be shared easily, whilst maintaining consistency across data sets within a research project.

Integration of the data with ANDS will increase the opportunities for collaboration within the Faculty and across institutions as more people can be aware of the data that is being collected and the output that is generated.

The web based data store was funded through ANDS and developed by Intersect, a cooperative organisation between state government and universities that develops research IT infrastructure.

The data store also integrates with an online open source statistical and programming package (R-Studio). This allows analysis of data in the data store from any computer with internet access.

First published on the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment website.

Contact: Associate Professor Willem Vervoort

Phone: 02 8627 1054

Email: 1d0c013c13245f0e17223b5f5d2830721a2f363e2e0c1d2c2d335b1305