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Developing a research data management framework applicable to all Australian universities

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posted on 2022-03-03, 01:17 authored by eRNZ AdmineRNZ Admin, Natasha Simons, Nichola Burton

The Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) is a National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) facility, providing Australian researchers with a competitive advantage through data. Our Institutional Underpinnings program is part of the ARDC’s larger National Data Assets initiative.

Through strategic partnerships between the ARDC and key stakeholders, projects in this initiative will develop national scale data assets that support leading edge research. The National Data Assets initiative takes a portfolio approach to investment; this program specifically addresses the needs and capability of Australia’s universities.

In this program, 25 participating universities have been working together to develop a Institutional Research Data Management Framework. The framework is being developed, tested and validated by participating institutions, but will be able to be applied across all of Australia’s universities. The framework may include:

* A joint statement of the principles underpinning effective institutional research data management

* A collective outline of the policies, procedures, services and infrastructure needed for effective research data management

* A shared profile of the archival principles appropriate to the management of research data

* A model of the common decisions and events that occur as research data interacts with each of these elements, including where possible a description of the information needed to feed into these decisions and processes (acknowledging that this may vary depending on discipline and institution).

As part of the development of this framework, each of the 25 institutions (or groups of collaborating institutions) are participating in activities that test or validate an aspect of the framework. Feedback from these activities will be used to inform the final version of the framework, and wherever possible reusable outputs will be shared for adoption by other institutions.

In this presentation, the authors will reflect on the progress and achievements to date of the Institutional Underpinnings program, sharing learnings that may inspire others and look to the future as the program is due to conclude towards the end of 2022.


Natasha Simons is Associate Director, Data & Services for the Australian Research Data Commons where she is responsible for the implementation of the National Data Assets Initiative. She is based in Brisbane, Queensland.

Nichola Burton is Data Technologist and the Program Manager for Institutional Underpinnings at the Australian Research Data Commons. She is based in Perth, Western Australia.


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