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Seeding the Commons

Concluding in May 2012, the Seeding the Commons project (funded by the Australian National Data Service) contributed to ongoing improvement in the capture, management and discovery of research data at Deakin University.

The project described over 50 research data collections and made them available for viewing in Deakin University's research repository, Deakin Research Online (DRO) (select Browse > Collections > Deakin University data collections).

The descriptions are harvested to Research Data Australia (RDA), a federally funded discovery service designed to connect Australian data, projects, researchers and institutions. The descriptions of Deakin research can be browsed here.

Although the Seeding the Commons Project has finished, the collection of dataset descriptions is continuing.

If you are a researcher who would like to know more, please contact the Library DRO Data team:

Phone: +61 3 5227 8231

For general information on research data and DRO, please see our online brochure

More information on the Seeding the Commons Project is available:

Seeding the Commons Project overview

The Seeding the Commons at Deakin University Project ran from July 2011-May 2012 and was funded by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS).

The project aimed to improve the capture, management and discovery of research data at Deakin University.

The Project was the collaborative effort of the Library and Research Services Divisions and was managed through the Information Technology Programme Management Office. It reported to the IT Steering Committee - Research.

Project purpose and activities

The project had the following key aims:

  • To record Deakin University research data collections from at least one key research area on the ANDS Collections Registry to the standards required.
  • To test and develop sustainable processes for the capture of such information into the future, utilising Deakin University's research repository, Deakin Research Online.

The information supplied to the ANDS Collections Registry provides content for the Research Data Australia webpages, and enables data collections to be counted in the Australian Research Data Commons.

The project identified over 50 key research data sets within strategic research areas.

Working with the researchers, identified projects and ANDS, the project:

  • Collected information required.
  • Described the data collection, researchers and their project to ANDS standards.
  • Developed Deakin's research repository, Deakin Research Online, to support all fields required by ANDS recommended standards, and developed an interface to supply data in RIFS-CS metadata format.
  • Ensured records entered on the ANDS Collections Registry, in the first instance by direct entry, then by supply of data from Deakin Research Online.
  • Developed internal processes to support the registering of research data collections into the future.

Project benefits

  • Identification and description of strategically important research data collections.
  • Creation of stored and nationally visible metadata about research data collections held at the University, including access conditions (contacts, permissions and usage requirements).
  • Establishment of sustainable processes for recording research data collections in a research data community in Deakin Research Online and registering these collections in the ANDS Collections Registry.
  • Increased understanding of research data management practices across the University.
  • Improved support for researchers and research students around the management and recording of research data collections.
  • Improved discovery and exposure of University research data collections.
  • Improved discovery and potential re-use of Deakin University research data collections by outside researchers.
  • The ability to more easily replicate and build on Deakin Research using the same source data as the research outputs that use that data.

Project deliverables

  • Identification of research data collections in at least one strategic research area.
  • Recording of these collections in the ANDS Collections Registry to standards for both content and metadata.
  • Development of templates within Fez/Fedora using MODS metadata (with RIF-CS equivalence) to support all fields required for data registry.
  • Development of an OAI PMH interface to supply data in RIFS-CS to the ANDS Collections Registry.
  • Internal processes and resources to ensure appropriate description of new research data collections into the future.
  • Enhancements to Fez/Fedora web software tool(s) and services (in Deakin Research Online) to facilitate creation, storage and management of information regarding University research data collections.

Use DRO to showcase your research data

If you are a Deakin researcher, you may be interested in contributing a description of your research data to Research Data Australia (RDA).

Library staff are working with Deakin researchers to provide descriptive metadata of Deakin research datasets to RDA, a set of web pages describing data collections produced by or relevant to Australian researchers.

RDA is designed to promote visibility of research data collections and to encourage their re-use.

Consider the following benefits that participation will bring to you:

Increase the impact of your research

  • Reuse of your data increases its impact
  • Citation of your data acknowledges your contribution

The integrity of your research is recognised

  • Providing access to your datasets enables others to validate your findings
  • Good stewardship of public resources used to conduct research is demonstrated
  • It supports the responsible communication of research results.

Support future use

  • Your data may be reused by researchers in other fields for different purposes
  • It can be discovered many years in the future by others
  • It will be easier to locate by others and you!

Fulfil obligations

  • The Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research suggests that research data should be made available for use by other researchers unless this is prevented by ethical, privacy or confidentiality matters.
  • The Code also requires you to maintain a catalogue of research data in an accessible form.
  • The ARC discovery grants funding rules states that the Final Report must outline how data arising from the Project has been made publicly accessible where appropriate
  • The NH & MRC notes that if a researcher is not intending to deposit the data from a project in a repository within a six month period, s/he should include the reasons in the project's Final Report.

Improve opportunities for collaboration

  • Researchers in different fields may become aware of your research by discovering your data collections

You still retain control of your data

  • You decide who can see your data under what conditions
  • You can place an embargo on access until you publish
  • You can ensure valuable data collections are made publicly accessible once you have completed your research
  • You should retain your data collection on your School or Institute server
  • You may transfer copies of data collections that you wish to make publicly accessible

For further information and assistance, contact the Library DRO Data team:
Phone: +61 3 5227 8231

Page custodian: Library
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