Data Retention Program

Maximising the impact of Australia’s significant national data collections.
A person with a tablet in a corridor at a data center, checking hardware on server racks

The Challenge

Australia’s competitive research advantage relies on our researchers having timely access to high-quality data collections underpinned by reliable infrastructure. But storing data is expensive. Demand for data storage capacity is growing rapidly while the cost is no longer falling.

Research organisations can’t maximise the impact of their investment in data storage without understanding the nature of their data collections or efficiency in operating their capacity infrastructure.

The Approach

We’re working with research-sector organisations to more effectively manage their data collections. We’ll achieve this by enriching the data collections with consistent international metadata standards to make the collections more FAIR – particularly findable and reusable.

This will help research organisations:

  • build research impact as more researchers are acknowledged for significant national data collections
  • generate valuable returns on their data infrastructure investment
  • make informed investment decisions about their future data storage.

Our support focuses on 4 activities:


We’ve established co-investment partnerships with:

  • Organisations managing existing research data collections that were established under the Australian Government’s 2009-2010 Research Data Storage Infrastructure program.
  • Australian universities and National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) facilities that manage important and valuable research data collections.

We work with other ARDC activities, including the Institutional Underpinnings program, to complement the good sector practice in research data management. Together with the ARDC Nectar Research Cloud, our Data Retention activities underpin a robust and responsive national data commons.

The Data Retention Program is one of 6 ARDC programs developed as part of our National Data Assets initiative. 

Target Outcomes

Australia’s research and innovation impact is greatest when our researchers reuse high-quality national data collections. Together, we’ll support sustainable data storage infrastructure investment and common metadata specification that make it easier for researchers to find and reuse Australia’s wealth of existing research data.

Other anticipated outcomes include:

  • establishing a coherent and consistent view of important data collections across the national research sector
  • quantifying the operational requirements to store and present those collections in line with established academic conventions and NCRIS principles.

Contact the ARDC

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