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University of Queensland Major Open Data Collections Project

University of Queensland

Project Description

In this MODC project, The University of Queensland supported two major open data projects:

1. The AUSTRALIAN WHEAT collection

The Australian Wheat project was a major initiative by Professor Dave Edwards’s research team in the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences at The University of Queensland to create a platform for the management and sharing of Australian T3 genotypic and phenotypic wheat breeding data. The aim was to contribute Australian wheat genomics data to a local node of a major international collaboration, the Wheat Information System, known as WheatIS (, and provide researchers with a means of identifying wheat genotypes and phenotypes with specific traits. The local node has been built using QRIScloud resources, and data has been uploaded to WheatIS, where it can be searched and downloaded.

The T3 wheat portal provides a centralised point of access for Australian wheat breeders and researchers looking for this kind of data. Collection-level metadata is recorded in the UQ eSpace institutional repository (, and the data itself is stored in a database accessible via the wheat T3 web application ( hosted at the Australian node of the Wheat Information system (WheatIS) based at UQ.

This project has focused not only on collecting, standardising and storing Australian wheat breeding data, but has also provided data access to the international wheat breeding community. The chosen platform, the Triticeae Toolbox, provides researchers with a user-friendly analysis tool to facilitate decision-making throughout the breeding process.

While developing the Australian wheat T3 database, the research team have also gained experience in building a useful data platform for breeding information. This knowledge and experience can be easily transferred to breeding data platforms for other crops, such as brassica, chickpea and barley.

Over six years in the 1960s, Dr Elwyn Flint recorded speech from both sexes of all generations in urban, regional and remote communities, including 29 indigenous communities, detailing not only English but between 15-20 Indigenous languages, many of which are no longer spoken. To this day, Flint’s Queensland Speech Survey constitutes the largest and broadest collection of languages spoken in Queensland in the 20th century. This MODC project achieved the following outcomes:
1. Digitised reel-to-reel tape recordings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages collected for the Queensland Speech Survey. This was an in-kind contribution from the UQ Library.
2. Translated the recordings of Aboriginal words, phrases and sentences into English and developed transcripts of those recordings.
3. Developed detailed annotations for each recording (currently 2,071 in number).
4. Built a user-friendly digital platform to provide public access to, and search capabilities for, the recordings and transcripts, and to support their discoverability by researchers and the public alike.
5. Consulted with Indigenous communities and Indigenous Knowledge Networks around Queensland to develop guidelines and protocols about the publication and re-use of Indigenous language material.

The scholarly outcomes of Flint Project are significant.
1. The collection provides a strong contribution to the field of comparative linguistics. The creation of digitised word lists from a range of Aboriginal languages allows the side-by-side comparison of words across languages, something not previously possible.
2. The digitisation, metadata creation and transcription of previously inaccessible material has produced an important new corpus of language materials for research, which will be discoverable via a Fryer Library online permanent exhibition, entitled Indigenous Voices of Queensland.
3. The infrastructure built to manage and expose the Indigenous recordings from the Queensland Speech Survey (QSS) will be used to process and add further material from the QSS, which will in turn provide new materials for research.
4. Community links with indigenous communities and Indigenous Knowledge Networks throughout Queensland have been created. Links with the State Library of Queensland in this area have been strengthened.
5. The development of community consultation and outreach work has been a capacity building exercise in both the UQ School of Languages and Cultures and the State Library of Queensland.