The Tardis in New Zealand: The University of Auckland’s implementation of MyTardis

Dr Chris Seal1, Ms Yvette Wharton1, Dr Mike Laverick1, Mr Warrick Corfe-Tan1, Ms Libby Li1, Mr Noel Zeng1

1Centre For Eresearch, The University Of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

The University of Auckland is currently working through a process of implementing a centralised data repository specifically for storing data generated by the multitude of scientific instruments used in our research. We have chosen to use MyTardis as our repository of choice for our initial roll-out. After a period of testing with selected researchers, and following a modified Design Sprint process we were able to identify desirable features that were not present in the community edition; specifically around access control and search.

We have with the help of the MyTardis developers, significantly customised MyTardis to meet the needs identified by our researchers and would like to take this opportunity to report back to the community about these changes. These changes were broad in scope and touched many different parts of the code-base. Changes made to the access control, in particular, has resulted in a significant reworking of MyTardis.

As a part of this discussion we would also like to reflect on the decision making process that led us to modifying the community edition of MyTardis, rather than working with the base version, with a specific focus on the tension between significantly modifying the code, with its associated maintenance, and the benefit to researchers gained by making these changes.


Chris Seal gained his PhD in Materials Engineering, at the University of Auckland, studying the effect of earthquake loading on steel framed buildings. He subsequently took a postdoctoral position in the field of computer simulation of fracture process, University of Manchester. Returning to New Zealand with his family, Chris works as a Senior eResearch Solutions Specialist, a role that enables the application of computational skills and knowledge of research workflows to the development of the university’s scientific instrument data repository.

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