Value of Research Data

A report written in 2014 estimated the economic value of Australia’s research data to be up to $6 billion a year. Most of this value is currently untapped. 

This is why we encourage researchers and governments to make their data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR), so that it can be used to stimulate research, innovation and industry. End-users of research data include industry, businesses, governments, the education sector and the general public.

Exploring the Value of Research Data

Assessment reports have been commissioned by the ARDC, CSIRO and international institutions to assess the potential and value of research data in more detail.

Australian assessments:

International assessments:

Data, Engagement and Impact

Australia’s first national research Engagement and Impact Assessment took place in 2018 to assess how well researchers engage with end users of research. It found universities were delivering and translating their research into economic, social and other benefits to industries and end users. The results are in the Engagement and Impact Assessment 2018-19 National Report in the ARC Data Portal, which also contains highly rated impact studies and assessment outcomes.

The Australian Research Council’s Engagement and Impact 2018 Framework defines research engagement as “the interaction between researchers and research end-users outside of academia, for the mutually beneficial transfer of knowledge, technologies, methods or resources”. It defines research impact as “the contribution that research makes to the economy, society, environment and culture beyond the contribution to academic research”.

Research data is an enabler and pathway to this engagement and impact. It’s a critical information asset which provides an important platform for collaboration between the research sector and the business sector, as well as applications in public policy, education, and citizen engagement. Data sharing can play a pivotal role in this collaboration.

Case Studies: Contribution of Data to Research Impact

The ARC Impact Case Studies dataset is collated from submissions by Australian universities to the ARC’s 2018 Engagement and Impact Assessment. It provides rich insights into how research has been translated into impact beyond academia, including this sample subset of case studies where data played a pivotal role in generating research impact.