Investing in 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 Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) and Indigenous eResearch infrastructure, creating new tools and platforms to extend researcher capacity. This will help institutions share HASS data more freely and cooperatively following FAIR data principles. 

The infrastructure 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 include:

  • Improving Indigenous research capabilities: Supporting the Indigenous Data Network 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:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

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.  

The ARDC aims to deliver this significant investment across the range of activities through open, transparent, and equitable processes. We will be engaging with key community stakeholders to define structural governance and operational parameters in the coming months. 

If you are interested in being part of the consultations please register your interest by completing the form below. We will provide further information on next steps in the consultation process to those that have registered and all relevant stakeholders.

An information session was held 8 February 2021 and you can read a summary of questions and answers that were asked during the session.