In early September 2018, Google announced the launch of Dataset Search which provides a single interface to find datasets wherever they are hosted or described. While Dataset Search is still in beta, and the coverage is not yet fully complete, all datasets described in Research Data Australia are expected to be indexed in Google Dataset Search.

Google Dataset Search uses the open metadata standard,, to accurately index datasets on the web. Research Data Australia also uses the standard to provide optimised metadata to web search engines, which means Google Dataset Search can seamlessly retrieve search results.

To assist data providers, Google have published guidelines for describing datasets in a consistent and structured way that allows Google to accurately index the metadata. As Google notes, “a search tool like this one is only as good as the metadata that data publishers are willing to provide”. This illustrates yet another reason to continue providing good quality metadata records to Research Data Australia.

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