An open, composable standards–based research eResearch platform: Arkisto

Dr Peter Sefton1, Dr Nick Thieberger2, Dr Marco La Rosa2, Mr Michael Lynch1

1University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Australia
2University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Research data from all disciplines has interest and value that extends beyond funding cycles and must continue to be managed and preserved for the long term. However much of the effort in eResearch goes into building systems which provide functionality and services that operate on data but which actually put data at risk, that is, by loading data into a particular tool so that  the data is not be easily retrievable if the service cannot be sustained, or, at worst, the data is lost.

The Arkisto ( approach is to work with a set of standards which make data available for long term access. Using the Oxford Common File Layout (OCFL) to organize data in a repository and Research Object Crate to describe data down to the file or even variable level Arkisto supports the safeguarding of data for the long term. A growing set of Arkisto-compatible software tools allow data ingest into repositories, and the creation of data discovery portals that connect data to analytical, visualisation and computing tools.

In this presentation we will introduce the standards based platform and show a number of examples from multiple disciplines of current Arkisto deployments, including an institutional Research Data Portal, a snapshot of the Expert Nation history project, crowd-sourced data from historical criminology , and the Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC).


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.

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