Research Data Australia

Find, access, reuse and attribute data from Australian research organisations.
Research Data Australia

More than ever we’re recognising the value of data and the untapped potential in Australia’s extensive research data collections.

Research Data Australia (RDA) is an online portal for finding research data and associated projects, researchers and data services. You can find, access, reuse and attribute data from more than one hundred Australian research organisations, government agencies and cultural institutions.

Most data within RDA are immediately accessible online.

RDA caters specifically for researchers but is also relevant to policy makers, educators, industry and the business community.

Any data of interest to researchers can be described in RDA, including:

  • digital or non-digital, such as survey results
  • data collected automatically from computer programs, sensors or instruments
  • images, audio and video
  • text corpora
  • web pages and blogs.

RDA collections are published via the following steps.

1. Data owners or managers create descriptions of research data collections (metadata records) in their repositories. Collection descriptions can include rich metadata like:

  • data access instructions and conditions
  • related people, organisations, publications, software and projects
  • keywords
  • fields of research codes.

2. Contributors provide the RDA Registry with the metadata records that describe:

3. The Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) publishes these descriptions in RDA.

Data remains with the custodians and only the descriptions are published on RDA. Access to the data is always at the discretion of the custodian

The ARDC does not store the data but displays descriptions of, and links to, the data held by our data publishing partners or contributors.

RDA is indexed by search engines such as Google and Yahoo. The ARDC has reciprocal publishing arrangements with other data collection registries, discovery portals and metadata syndication in Australia and internationally.

The Registry Interchange Format – Collections and Services (RIF-CS) schema was developed as a data interchange format for supporting the electronic exchange of collection and service descriptions. It’s the primary metadata format supported by RDA and the RDA Registry.

Records described using alternative metadata formats can still be harvested for display and discovery in RDA However, this requires an appropriate crosswalk (or a table mapping the fields it uses to those in RIF-CS) to be implemented in the RDA Registry to transform the metadata records into RIF-CS.

Developing a metadata crosswalk can be resource intensive, requiring sound knowledge of both the source and destination schema.

The ARDC has worked with a number of RDA publishers to develop crosswalks for specific metadata schemas. These crosswalks can be modified for different use cases or used as examples when developing a new crosswalk.

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