Valuable Data Collections Retained With $2 Million Boost

Data collections of national significance held at research institutions across Australia are now secured for future research thanks to a $2 million co-investment by the ARDC.
Data Retention

Data collections of national significance held at universities, research institutions and national research infrastructure facilities across Australia have been secured for future research thanks to a $2 million co-investment by the ARDC.

Through Phase 1 of the ARDC’s Data Retention Program, the ARDC co-invested $2 million and our partners co-invested similar funds to directly support over 27 petabytes of valuable national data collections.

The Data Retention Program supports the retention of research data collections of national significance with a coherent and consistent international metadata standard.

Research data take considerable time and effort to collect and curate, and can be used again to answer new research questions. However, to get the most value from data collections, they need to be stored for the long-term with metadata that enables reuse, and be easy to find.

All collections supported by the Data Retention Program are now findable in the international DataCite metadata register and associated digital object identifier (DOI).

Carmel Walsh, Director of eResearch Infrastructure and Services at the ARDC, said, “The ARDC Data Retention Program is defining a sustainable investment model to underpin a robust national data commons. Our Phase 1 partners have provided enthusiastic participation for this foundational work and together we are securing significant national data collections for the benefit of the Australian research sector. We look forward to building on this important work as the ARDC establishes thematic research data commons’ that focus on national priorities across the research sector.”

The Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre partnered with the ARDC in Phase 1 of the program. Dr Sean Fleming, Data Services Team Lead at Pawsey, said, “We welcome a realistic and sustainable national approach to investment provided by the ARDC Data Retention Program.

“The Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre maintains many significant and important data collections of value to the international research community. Registering our collections in the international data citation initiative, DataCite, enables a consistent and familiar citation and acknowledgement solution when these data collections are reused.

“Our participation supports a national view of Australian data collections of national significance.”

Sustainable Research Data Management

Research data volumes continue to grow while the cost of data storage capacity is flat. This means that investment into data storage needs to be planned carefully, as it is expensive and long-lasting. The options to store data are also more diverse than ever; data can be stored locally, in regional data centres or in distributed cloud environments.

The Data Retention Program is designed to move traditional data storage investment from a hardware procurement exercise into a realistic and sustainable investment model. Our Phase 1 partners were the first to participate in this investment model and have provided invaluable feedback for evolving our investment model.

Dr Max Wilkinson, Research Data Infrastructure Architect and Program Manager for the Data Retention Program said, “A sustainable and realistic investment mechanism, like the one emerging from the Data Retention Program, drives good practice in research data management and enables the FAIR data principles; particularly the Findability, Accessibility and Reusability of valuable research data collections.

“I look forward to working with subsequent phase partners as we expand across the national research sector, providing support for data collections of national significance.”

The Data Retention Program Phase 1 co-investment partners were:

The Data Retention Program is now in Phase 2, working with partners to store more data collections of national significance. The Phase 2 partners are:

Learn more about the ARDC Data Retention Program.

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


Jo Savill, ARDC

Research Topic