Project Homepage:

Data Management Policy/Procedure:

Project Members:

Ailie Smith (

Simon Porter (

Anna Shadbolt (

ANDS Contact:

Richard Ferrers (

Project Status:


Seeding the Commons at the University of Melbourne

University of Melbourne

Project Description

"The University of Melbourne Seeding the Commons Project aims to integrate a broad range of initiatives that promote and support the identification and management of its research data collections. The project focus is on direct exposure of information about existing research data sets, preparing the information for new projects and their research datasets, while at the same time building capability and policy to embed research data management into the institutional and local support for research. The public view of the project will be the exposition of a register of The University's research data collections of national significance via Australian Research Data Commons: Research Data Australia.

This project has the following key aims:
- To identify existing important research collections at the University of Melbourne (UoM). Selected data collections will be described using RIF-CS. The descriptions will be stored on site in a metadata store (Vitro) and harvested into ARDC.
- To develop on-going processes to capture research data with its associated metadata and contribute RIF-CS metadata to ARDC via an OAI-PMH harvest point.
- To develop university wide data management policies and local discipline based procedures.
- To develop and deliver internal training programs and resources for research data management.
- To create web software tools and services to allow users to create, store and manage research data collections along with their metadata descriptions, persistent identifiers and digital object identifiers.

Final Report text:
The Seeding the Commons project at The University of Melbourne was an eclectic exercise in spreading the word about the importance of research data, its management, its discovery, and its potential re-use. Through the exercises undertaken we have been able to communicate to a broad range of individuals and groups across the university. We have partnered with key stakeholders and developed strong relationships that will hold us in good stead for continuing the work that has been started and built upon.

The major data challenge that this project has helped to address is the acknowledgement that there is a lot of research data out there and the University will benefit from knowing more about it. By registering a number of key collections and datasets we are in a better position to showcase how this may benefit both administrators and researchers alike. We are yet to test the impact that a dataset?s presence in Research Data Australia will have, but we are in no doubt that the identification and registration of university research assets within our internal systems is a worthwhile outcome in its own right.

The project built on a number of existing initiatives and operations within the University. In particular, we were able to complete the University?s review of policy for the management of research data and records and to develop a number of guides and tools to support researchers and research administrators to address the requirements of this policy. Information and training materials were developed and delivered to a broad spectrum of the university community. The project also provided opportunities to meet with and collaborate with other universities across Australia, sharing resources, ideas and strategies. These collaborations have been invaluable.

The project has provided tangible outputs which illustrates what can be achieved with the provision of targeted resources. To this end we have been able to secure internal funding for continuing some of the services implemented during this project as well as continuing to extend data management support.

The University Library, ITS-Research Services and the Melbourne Research Office are committed to the provision of services in research data management. An integrated website and helpdesk will go live in 2012. In addition, the University Library will continue to support the identification and registration of research datasets and collections maintained at the University of Melbourne initially within our own Metadata Store with a view to publishing public components of these records to Research Data Australia. We will continue to fund key personnel engaged in this project for a further 12 months and hope to grow the service further in 2013. Integration with ITS and library services will also be consolidated over this initial 12 month period. The services will be managed within the Information Management program under the current SC02 Project Manager, Anna Shadbolt.

The ongoing ANDS Data Source Administrator will continue to be Simon Porter until the conclusion of the Metadata Store Project in July 2012. This will also be the case for automated feeds to RDA. In August 2012 these roles and processes will be reviewed in line with ITS operational requirements. Ongoing promotion of RDA will form part of outreach and information sessions across the University?s integrated research data management service."

High Level Software Functionality:

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