Researcher Survey: Access to Public Sector Data

We're running a survey to measure researcher access to Australian public sector data.
researcher working at a laptop at a desk in a library

The ARDC has launched an online survey to measure researcher access to Australian public sector data so we can assess the gap between demand and supply.

The survey results will inform priority areas for the development of relevant infrastructure and facilitate researchers in making best use of public sector data.

The ARDC has engaged the consultancy firm Lateral Economics to produce a report detailing the findings of the survey, which will be published and shared in mid-2024.

The survey is anonymous, and will take around 10-15 minutes to complete. The survey closes on 28 February 2024.

Who should complete the survey?

We encourage all researchers, research managers or those supporting researchers who have requested access to Australian public sector data in the past 2 years to complete this survey.

We are particularly interested in hearing from Australian researchers regardless of their location (here or overseas), and we are also interested in hearing from non-Australian researchers (in Australia or overseas) who have sought access to Australian public sector data in the last 2 years.

We welcome responses from those working as a researcher full- or part-time in a university, research institution, industry, government or elsewhere.

What does the survey ask?

The survey asks questions about the availability and accessibility of Australian public sector data collected, created or held by Commonwealth, local, state or territory governments, or on their behalf. It asks about a specific experience you have had in the last 2 years trying to find, access and use Australian public sector data.


The survey responses are anonymous. Respondents can optionally provide their contact details to receive the outputs of the survey or answer follow up questions. The ARDC will keep those details confidential in line with our privacy policy.

Why is the ARDC conducting the survey?

Public sector data is highly valued by researchers as it:

  • already exists and could be readily reused rather than having to be re-collected
  • covers the whole nation and usually an extended period of time
  • is authoritative, having been created under legal or policy mandates
  • reflects issues known to be of concern to the government and society.

In recognition of the value of public sector data, there has been advocacy for policy reforms to improve researcher access to public sector data for more than 20 years. But to date, there is no trusted measure of where improvements to access have occurred, where gaps remain and the consequences of both on researchers and society. The survey is part of our project, Baseline Researcher Access to Public Sector Data, within our Policy Program.

We thank you in advance for your participation in the survey, and kindly ask you to share it with relevant colleagues.

Learn more about the project, Baseline Researcher Access to Public Sector Data.

The ARDC is funded through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) to support national digital research infrastructure for Australian researchers.