Calcyte: A simple tool for describing, packaging and publishing data collections

Dr Peter Sefton1

1University Of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Australia,



Calcyte is a toolkit for managing metadata for collections of any kind of file-based data using spreadsheets – automatically generated from templates – for data entry (other methods may be supported in future). After the data owner enters information about the files and directories, Calcyte generates a static webpage and metadata files that describes the data in both human and machine-readable formats. Calycte’s output can be published on a webserver, or zipped for distribution. Calycte implements the proposed DataCrate format. Calycte is a python program, which can be run from the command line or via automated processes that detect changes in data on file shares.


The presentation will include a demo of using calcyte to describe a small data set, with commentary of its important features, and a demonstration of how it has been used to publish data at UTS.

Calcyte’s produces human and machine readable metadata in a format with the working title “DataCrate”. The UTS team is planning a beta release of both Calcyte and the DataCrate for eResearch Australasia.

Calcyte is available from:


Calcyte has been programmed by Peter Sefton and Michael Lake, and tested by the team at UTS eResearch, including Sharyn Wise and Michael Lynch.


Peter Sefton is the Manager, eResearch Support at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Before that he was in a similar role at the university of Western Sydney (UWS). Previously he ran the Software Research and development Laboratory at the Australian Digital Futures Institute at the University of Southern Queensland. Following a PhD in computational linguistics in the mid-nineties he has gained extensive experience in the higher education sector in leading the development of IT and business systems to support both learning and research.

While at USQ, Peter was involved in the development of institutional repository infrastructure in Australia via the federally funded RUBRIC ( project and was a senior advisor the the CAIRSS repository support service ( from 2009 to 2011. He oversaw the creation of one of the core pieces of research data management infrastructure to be funded by the Australian National Data Service consulting widely with libraries, IT, research offices and eResearch departments at a variety of institutions in the process. The resulting Open Source research data catalogue application ReDBOX is now being widely deployed at Australian universities.

At UTS Peter is leading a team which is working with key stakeholders to implement university-wide eResearch infrastructure, including an institutional data repository, as well as collaborating widely with research communities at the institution on specific research challenges. His research interests include repositories, digital libraries, and the use of The Web in scholarly communication.

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