Working towards the “end-to-end”: Research Data Management Capability Development at UNE

Mr Thomas Reeson1, Dr Paddy Tobias2

1University Of New England, Armidale, Australia,

2Intersect Australia, Sydney, Australia,


The implementation of an enterprise-level research data management solution is cumbersome and complex. Sets of requirements and use-cases in the research data management lifecycle vary considerably, which is further complicated by the differing motivations of parties involved. While the institution is driven by responsibilities in administration and compliance, researchers are seeking greater support to facilitate good research practice and improved outcomes.

As such many in the sector now recognise that any enterprise-level solution for research data management needs to be “end-to-end”, meaning that it integrates into a single workflow all processes from start to finish of the research data lifecycle. Simply implementing or leveraging existing systems to address one aspect of the data lifecycle is not enough without working to integrate these with other existing data management processes [1, p. 158].

With this in mind, there is a shortage in the sector of support and guidance in relation to the end-to-end institutional solution, even in terms of advice on asking the right questions when scoping solutions. This lack of a holistic and critical guidance engenders frequent second-guessing and wasted investment by the institution.

This paper is delivered mid-way through a 12-month project at the University of New England to enhance capabilities and encourage engagement in new methodologies for research data management using the ANDS Capability Maturity Model as a guide. In the context of the problem outlined above, the paper will present the end-to-end workflow developed at UNE and discuss the thinking behind the solutions put in place. It will also address the difficulties confronted along the way with retrofitting systems integration, gaining researcher buy-in, and establishing standards for the University of New England. The paper will finish by listing a number of questions that are currently unresolved and need answering in the sector in relation to end-to-end institutional support. The paper is intended to be thought-provoking and generate a discussion.


  1. Johnston, Lisa R. “Curating Research Data Volume One: Practical Strategies for Your Digital Repository.” (2017). Available from:




Thomas Reeson is a recent addition to the University of New England Library’s Research Advisory and Engagement Services team. Thomas has worked at Griffith University, the State Library of Queensland, the University of Southern Queensland, and Queensland University of Technology as the QULOC Graduate Librarian. Thomas also worked as the Paramedic Sciences Liaison Librarian at the University of Queensland. As the Research Data Librarian, Thomas assists UNE researchers with planning, storage, description, discovery, and preservation of research data.

Dr. Paddy Tobias represents Intersect at the University of New England. Paddy has several years of experience working in developing countries as an academic, program director, policy adviser and researcher. As an eResearch Analyst, Paddy works to improve research projects with better adoption of digital solutions. The role covers policy advice, training and engagement for research data management, digital research support and data-intensive research.