Trusted Data Repositories: From Pilot Projects to National Infrastructure

Cynthia Love1, Steve McEachern2, Andrew Mehnert3,4, Andrew Treloar5

1CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia,

2Australian Data Archive, Canberra, Australia,

3National Imaging Facility, Australia,

4Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

5Australian Research Data Commons, Melbourne, Australia,



In FY 2016/17, ANDS funded the Trusted Data Repository program. This aimed to look at how to provide more trusted storage through three projects chosen to examine a number of dimensions:

  • NIF: multi-institutional (UQ, MU, UNSW, UWA), image/non-image instrument data, data generating facilities
  • ADA: single institution (ANU), social science data, data holding facility with a national role
  • CSIRO: single institution (not a university), range of data types, institutional data store

The primary focus of the program was on the trustedness of the repository containers, not on the data they contained. In other words Trusted (Data Repositories) not (Trusted Data) Repositories. However In the case of the NIF project they did consider both aspects: (1) Requirements necessary and sufficient for a basic NIF trusted data repository service; and (2) NIF Agreed Process (NAP) to obtain trusted data from NIF instruments.

The main challenges addressed across the program were how to:

In this BoF, the projects will present what they learned by undertaking this journey and reflect on how to generalize what they learned to the national context (noting that NIF is a national facility, ADA is a national repository, and CSIRO is a national agency).

Following this there will be an open discussion about next steps, including how to expand this initial set of projects to a national infrastructure of trusted data repositories serving a range of domains.


The BoF will be a mix of presentation of content via slides (contributed by Love, McEachern and Mehnert), followed by an open discussion among all those presenting (facilitated by Treloar).


0-10: Overview of Trusted Data Repository (TDR) program run in 2017 and international relevance

10-40: 3 ten minute presentations from each of the pilot TDR projects

50-60: Role of Trusted Data Repositories in the NRDC

60-75: Open discussion

75-80: Next steps


Andrew Treloar​ is the Director of Technology for the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). In 2008 he led the project to establish ANDS. His Twitter bio describes him as “Data-tragic, home-gardener, cycling-commuter, BodyPump-addict, urban-greenie, lapsed-linguist”, which sounds about right. More information at @atreloar.

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