Data Retention Impact Assessment

Defining data collections of national significance.
A person with a tablet in a corridor at a data center, checking hardware on server racks
Who will benefit
Organisations managing or investing in important research data collections

The Challenge

Research organisations struggle to maximise the impact of their investment in data storage because there is no consistent assessment framework to understand the value and significance of research data collections.

The Response

All Data Retention partners are coming together to establish an impact and sustainability model to inform strategic vision and future investment decisions that support Australia’s important national data collections.

This Data Retention Impact Assessment project will achieve this by accurately assessing the impact of our and our partners’ co-investments in the following Data Retention projects:

Who Will Benefit

Researchers who describe their data using consistent international metadata standards make their data more FAIR, particularly findable and reusable. This also allows researchers to be cited for the data component of their research output.

Infrastructure operators will be better informed about where data should be stored, for how long it should be stored and the most appropriate adjacent services to incorporate. Their storage services will be more efficient and effective.

National investment will have more impact when it supports the most significant and valuable collections.

The Partners

Our co-investment partners for Legacy Data Collections are:

  • National Computational Infrastructure (NCI)
  • Pawsey Supercomputing Centre
  • University of Melbourne
  • QCIF
  • Intersect
  • Tasmanian Partnership for Advanced Computing at the University of Tasmania
  • Monash University

Our co-investment partners for Significant National Data Collections are:

  • Astronomy Australia Ltd
  • AuScope
  • Australian Plant Phenomics Facility
  • BioPlatforms Australia
  • University of New South Wales
  • The University of Queensland
  • Monash University

Target Outcomes

Our Data Retention impact assessment involves two activities, the outcomes of which will guide the future investment plans of universities, research facilities and the ARDC.


This is a project forum for Data Retention’s partner organisations, which will:

  • help build a definition of Data Collections of National Significance
  • champion project goals in their wider communities
  • build a realistic sustainability model to secure important and valuable data collections for the benefit of Australia’s research sector.

Progress assessment metrics

This is an internal ARDC exercise to assess how well partners were able to enrich their collections with metadata during the investment period. This will help guide ARDC federal program roadmapping.

Contact the ARDC

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March 2021 to June 2023

Current Phase


Project lead

Max Wilkinson, ARDC Research Data Infrastructure Architect

Research Topic