Investing in HASS and Indigenous research communities

The ARDC is leading the development of a national Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) Research Data Commons.

The program is supported over the next 2 years by an $8.9m investment by the Australian Government to build national HASS digital research infrastructure that will create new tools and platforms to extend researcher capacity. The investment represents the initial stage of a proposed long-term program to address the challenges and opportunities presented by a diverse grouping of research fields.

The activity streams of the HASS Research Data Commons

The HASS RDC comprises 3 streams of activity, which complement the Indigenous Research Capability program.

1. Developing the Linguistics Data Commons of Australia

Led by Professor Michael Haugh, School of Languages and Cultures, University of Queensland.

This platform will capitalise on existing infrastructure, rescue vulnerable and dispersed collections, and link with improved analysis environments for new research outcomes.

2. Developing a Trove researcher platform for advanced research

Led by Ms. Alison Dellit, Assistant Director General, Collaboration Branch, National Library of Australia.

Augmenting existing National Library of Australia resources, this platform will enable a focus on the delivery of researcher portals accessible through Trove, Australia’s unique public heritage site. The platform will create tools for visualisation, entity recognition, transcription and geocoding across Trove content and other corpora.

3. Integrated social sciences research infrastructure

Led by Dr. Steven McEachern, Director, Australian Data Archive, Centre for Social Research and Methods, Australian National University.

This platform will expand existing social sciences initiatives and provide a coordinated governance model for access to data. It will improve the capacity of researchers to access, preserve and disseminate quantitative and qualitative social sciences data sources, and will drive the development of systems and tools for capturing new and emerging real time, or near real time, data.

Supporting Indigenous Research Capability

Led by Professor Marcia Langton, Associate Provost and Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies, Co-Chair Indigenous Data Network, University of Melbourne.

As part of the Australian Government investment, the ARDC will also work in collaboration with the Indigenous Data Network (IDN) at the University of Melbourne to support the consolidation and expansion of its technological, training and governance initiatives.

See more information about the activities.

Goals for the HASS RDC

The HASS RDC will help institutions share data more freely, ethically and cooperatively, following the FAIR data principles and indigenous data governance protocols maintained by the Indigenous Data Network.

The HASS RDC brings together existing and ongoing investments in text analysis, cultural collections, linguistics, social sciences and indigenous data. It will leverage existing NCRIS capabilities, including the Population Health Research Network (PHRN) and the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN).

The infrastructure will enhance research in a broad range of fields including education, Australian cultural studies, history, economics, commerce, tourism, law and legal studies, and the creative arts.

Decision making framework

We published the decision making framework for co-investment in the HASS Research Data Commons program in July 2021. It is being used to ensure alignment between NCRIS principles and the ARDC’s project development and project approval processes.

Advisory Panel

In August 2021, we announced the appointment of the Chair and several members of the Advisory Panel for the HASS RDC and Indigenous Research Capability Program.

The Advisory Panel comprises expert representatives from relevant national and international bodies in the HASS and Indigenous domains.

The Advisory Panel includes:

  • Chair and representative from the Higher Education Library community - Jill Benn, University Librarian at the University of Western Australia, Chair of the Council of Australian University Librarians, Board Member of the International Association of University Libraries, Council member of the Research Data Alliance, Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
  • Academy of the Humanities representative - Dr Kylie Brass, Policy and Research Director at the Australian Academy of the Humanities
  • International HASS digital research infrastructure representative - Ron Dekker, Director of CESSDA ERIC, the Consortium of Social Science Data Archives, Coordinator of Social Sciences and Humanities Open Cloud, Project Leader of the European Open Science Cloud Future project.
  • Academy of Social Sciences representative - Dr Chris Hatherly, CEO of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
  • Representative from the researcher community - A/Prof Anna Johnston is Associate Professor in English Literature in the School of Communication and Arts at the University of Queensland
  • Indigenous research community representative - Prof Peter Radoll FRSN, Acting CEO EPIC CRC, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous and Director, Ngunnawal Centre, Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and Strategy, University of Canberra

Register your interest

If you are interested in keeping up to date with the HASS Research Data Commons and Indigenous Research Capability, please register your interest by completing the form below.



We will send emails with updates on the program to those that have registered and all relevant stakeholders.

Contact us

Get in touch with our team with any questions about the HASS Research Data Commons and Indigenous Research Capability program. Contact us

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