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QCIF has partnered with the ARDC to develop a nationally-significant research data commons to lower the barrier for researchers to find and access high-quality data collections. 

The ARDC Data Retention project will ensure valuable national research data collections meet international metadata standards and the FAIR principles of data being findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. 

QCIF will receive up to $738,000 from the ARDC to work on the three-year partnership from 2020–2023. The ARDC is funded by the Federal Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

Rosie Hicks, ARDC CEO, says the ARDC is proactively driving the adoption of the FAIR principles as a valuable way in making research outputs more reusable, both for humans and machines.

 “In collaboration with our partners, we’re catalysing research innovation to deliver world-class research data and infrastructure,” she said.

The ARDC will co-invest in the upgrading of data collections to safely manage their contents and secure them for future research use.

QCIF CEO John Bancroft welcomed the opportunity for QCIF to be involved in creating a national and collaborative research data commons. 

“I am delighted that we have been able to secure this significant external investment to help our members to upgrade their data collections and thereby enhance the ability of their researchers and others to access and utilise those data,” he said.

The project’s benefits for researchers include: 

  • being able to more easily fulfil compliance requirements from major Australian (and international) funders for data management and the preservation of the evidence that underpins their research.
  • being able to draw from the growing body of data collections to fuel future research with certainty and transparency.
  • substantially increasing compliance with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

QCIF’s first phase of the project is already underway and involves upgrading the metadata of eligible data collections stored on QRIScloud, the QCIF-operated node of the ARDC’s Nectar Research Cloud and associated data storage.

These collections include data about human, plant and animal genomics; climate change and weather; the Great Barrier Reef and coastal habitats; agriculture and more. 

QCIF will conduct this work in partnership with its members. QCIF eResearch Analysts will work with collection custodians and publish the metadata on the ARDC’s Research Data Australia portal.

The project is expected to be completed by 30 June 2023.