New Investments in HASS and Indigenous Research

The ARDC welcomes the measures announced under the Federal Budget for 2020-21 for the Humanities, Arts and Social Science (HASS) and Indigenous research communities.

The Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) welcomes the measures announced under the Federal Budget for 2020-21 for the Humanities, Arts and Social Science (HASS) and Indigenous research communities.

The Federal Government investment of $8.9 million over the next three years (2020–21 to 2022–23) will help build a national HASS and Indigenous eResearch infrastructure, creating new tools and platforms to extend researcher capacity. 

The research infrastructure will provide HASS and Indigenous researchers with easier access to data and analysis methods, enabling effective data mining and re-use and maximising the return on previous research investments. It will enhance research in a broad range of fields including education, Australian cultural studies, linguistics, history, economics, commerce, tourism, law and legal studies, and the creative arts. The investment will help institutions share HASS data more freely and cooperatively following FAIR data principles.

The investment will include:

  • improving Indigenous research capabilities: supporting the Indigenous Data Network (IDN) to consolidate and expand its technological, training, and governance initiatives following CARE data principles (Collective benefit, Authority to control, Responsibility and Ethics).
  • HASS eResearch platforms initially comprising three elements:
    • developing the Linguistics Data Commons of Australia (LDaCA):
      • capitalising on existing infrastructure, rescuing vulnerable and dispersed collections and linking with improved analysis environments for new research outcomes
    • developing a Trove researcher platform for more advanced research:
      • complementing existing National Library of Australia resources, enabling a focus on the delivery of researcher portals accessible through Trove. This platform will create tools for visualisation, entity recognition, transcription and geocoding across Trove content and other corpora.
    • integrated social sciences research infrastructure:
      • expanding existing social sciences initiatives and providing a coordinated governance model for access to data. This will improve the capacity of researchers to access, preserve and disseminate quantitative and qualitative social sciences data sources. It will also drive the development of systems and tools for capturing new and emerging real time, or near real time, data.

Investment in these four activities will form the basis for future investment in other areas of HASS and Indigenous research to create a true domain research data commons.

This investment is the initial stage of a proposed broader and long-term program to address the challenges and opportunities presented by a very diverse grouping of research fields.

These initiatives will leverage existing NCRIS capabilities including the ARDC, the Population Health Research Network (PHRN) and AURIN. 

The Department of Education, Skills, and Employment has asked the ARDC to implement the HASS and IDN measures and is formalising this through the new NCRIS Guidelines.  

Rosie Hicks, CEO of the ARDC, says this is an important and encouraging investment by the Federal Government and the ARDC is very pleased and excited for the HASS community. 

“We are looking forward to working closely with the HASS and Indigenous research communities and helping them provide their researchers with competitive advantage through data,” said Rosie.

We will be engaging with key community stakeholders to define structural governance and operational parameters in the coming months. 

Learn more about the HASS Research Data Commons and Indigenous Research Capability Program.