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  • ANDS Briefing Note

This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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In various discussions with other participants in Project Bamboo I've had discussions about what is happening in Australia with collections interoperability and the ANDS context. This briefing note aims to provide background for non-Australian participants.

Context

Within Australia there is a growing interest in e-Research. Being twenty million people on a continent roughly the size of the continental US and, with the exception of NZ and Fiji, a minimum of six hours flying time from the more populated south eastern states to any of our overseas neighbours, Australia is geographically isolated, and research co-operation both within Australia and also with overseas partners can be difficult. Hence a growing interest in using e-Research technologies to overcome both the tyranny of distance and the tyranny of time zones, and incidentally showcasing some of the innovative and interesting work taking place in Australia.

The major forum is the annual e-Research Australasia conference. Dipping into the conference website should give a taster of the range of things happening down under. Projects like AustLit are quite nice demonstrators of what can be done to build resources for the humanities

ANDS

ANDS (http://www.ands.org.au ) is an initiative of the Australian Government to make research data available for re-use. This has grown out of both previous programs to enhance the discoverability of individual institutions repository content and push to increase access to publicly funded data

While inevitably focused on 'big science' it also has an Arts and Humanities context and is grappling with making A&H data available for reuse.

ANDS' model is that data will continue to be hosted and curated at individual institutions but that they will operate am Australia wide registry holding information on collection descriptions.

This registry will be expressed using RIF-CS .

The data and the registry are collectively referred to as the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC ) or sometimes RDC.

ANDS programs

ANDS funds two programs - 'Seeding the Commons' and 'Educational Infrastructure Fund (EIF)'. Both are aimed at making data available. While these funding programs will pay for people, neither will pay for infrastructure, ie computers and disk. There are other non-ANDS programs aimed at the creation of a private educational cloud infrastructure in Australia.

Educational Infrastructure Fund (EIF)

While not explicitly stated this funding is targeted at big science with the aim being to pay for the development of software to automatically acquire data from instruments, ingest them into some data storage repository, and publish the data to both an institutional data portal and the ANDS data registry. ANU is a participant in EIF and is currently finalising funding agreements.

Seeding the Commons

Seeding the Commons is a program to identify various existing datasets and make them available, by developing crosswalks to convert them to well known discipline specific schema, and generating appropriate collection descriptions using RIF-CS and publishing the information to the ANDS registry so the dataset will form part of the ARDC. There are no discipline restrictions on Seeding the Commons. In ANU we are planning to target the Seeding the Commons Funding towards the Humanities and Creative Arts. We are currently discussing a funding proposal with ANDS.

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