Archiving, Finding and Accessing Data for Secondary Use in the Social, Behavioural and Economic Sciences: An Introduction to the Australian Data Archive

Steven McEachern1

1 Australian National University, Acton, ACT, Australia,




This workshop will provide an introduction to standards and practices for managing, storing and disseminating research and administrative data in the social sciences and related disciplines in Australia. The workshop will provide an overview of current data management practice in Australia and internationally, and discussion of recent Australian developments in data sharing and open data.

Topics to be covered will include:

  1. Data Archiving in the Social Sciences (45 minutes)

– What is data management and data archiving?

– Data sharing policies in Australia: ARC, NHMRC and government data

– Standards for data archiving: OAIS, DDI and beyond

  1. Archiving and disseminating data with the Australian Data Archive (60 minutes)

– Managing active projects

– Archiving completed projects

– Producing data

– Metadata and documentation

Coffee break (15 minutes)

  1. Accessing data in the social sciences (60 minutes)
  • Finding data
  • Accessing data
  • Analysing data
  • Data formats and storage practices

Question and Answer session (15 minutes)

– Follow up, queries and issues


The workshop will be of interest to those researchers with responsibilities for management of quantitative and qualitative research projects, staff from government agencies interested in disseminating data, and others interested in data access methods for sensitive data.


Attendees will need to bring a laptop with a web browser installed. No particular skills or knowledge are required for this workshop.



Dr. Steven McEachern is Director and Manager of the Australian Data Archive at the Australian National University, where he is responsible for the daily operations and technical and strategic development of the archive. He has high-level expertise in survey methodology and data archiving, and for over fifteen years has been actively involved in the development and application of survey research methodology and technologies in the Australian university sector.

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