Problems and Solutions patterns in Community development

Kheeran Dharmawardena1, Paul Box2

1Atlas of Living Australia, Melbourne, Australia,

2CSIRO, Black Mountain, Australia,



Replace the title above with your BoF (Birds of a Feather) title. Put the names, affiliations, and email addresses of the convener(s) and any key presenters in the spaces provided. Complete the information below.  Delete this Instructions section and complete the information below, keeping the formatting used in the template.


A BoF was held on Problem and Solution patterns on Community Development at the eResearch Australiasia conference in 2017.  During this session a number of patterns were identified and described.  This BoF will build upon the work done at eResearch 2017 and further explore the idea of a pattern library in Community Development around research information infrastructures.

Information infrastructure used by research comprising systems, data, processes and people providing this infrastructure (provider community) has evolved to underpin specific communities (user communities) with specialised software and hardware requirements. Underpinning research user communities is challenging: software and data in cutting edge areas advances quickly meaning that software infrastructure can fast become irrelevant; research is naturally competitive, which makes collaboration a finely tuned balance; and building models for sustainability is challenging.

A pattern language is a method of describing good design practices or patterns of useful organization and through a set of interconnected patterns, attempt to express a deeper understanding of the relationship between different patterns.

Some patterns identified to-date include:

  • Connecting rowing and steering – governance is the decision making process that sets the ‘rules of the game’ to ‘steer’ collective activity’. Individual orgs and people do the heavy lifting ‘rowing’ to achieve agreed outcomes. If there is a real or perceived inability to influence decision outcome in governance mechanisms there is likely to be a disincentive to taking action to achieve the outcomes particularly where collaborative efforts are in-kind volunteered effort, rather than being centrally funded.
  • Pigs and chicken – decision rights should be allocated in ways that are appropriate to the needs of the community and the respective roles of individual actors. Assigning decision authority – decider (as opposed to decision input roles) can be used to give more voice in collective decision making to those who will have more skin in the implementation game i.e. the ‘pigs’
  • Understanding and leveraging Coalitions of the Willing (COWs) – What incentivizes the folks who drive and contribute to initiatives? How can this be replicated and scaled up?
  • Working with frenemies – Difficult to navigate the various individual and organisational (dis)incentives for collaboration within a competitive environment that hamper eResearch adoption and growth

There are sure to be many more patterns.

This interactive BoF will look at these socio-technical challenges and seek to identify emergent problems & solutions patterns towards building communities that help underpin research communities in the use of information systems.

Format: Mixed mode with brief presentations, open discussion, and small group work

Duration: 80min


Paul Box leads a CSIRO research team developing interoperable systems of systems or ‘Information Infrastructure’. Paul has worked for more than 25 years in geospatial information technology field.

More recently, Paul has focused attention on addressing the social rather than technical challenges of building Information Infrastructure. Coherent integrated approaches to addressing the social, institutional and economic challenges of infrastructure development are being elaborated through ‘social architecture’.

Mr. Kheeran Dharmawardena, MBA, BComp, is the Program manager at the Atlas of Living Australia. Kheeran has over 2 decades of experience in delivery of many ICT services within the higher education and research sector, including infrastructure delivery, service delivery, data management, IT & enterprise architecture and eResearch. He has a special interest in the socio-technical challenges involved in the delivery of effective services.

Roles for eResearch

Nicholas May1, Sheila Mukerjee2, Samara Neilson3

1RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia,

2La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia,

3Swinburne University, Hawthorn, Australia,


The position descriptions of roles within the eResearch industry are not consistent and are not standardized. As an example, AeRO [1] has collected over a hundred different role titles for position descriptions within the industry. This makes the recruitment of staff and career progression within the industry much harder. However, efforts are underway, as discussed at a recent AeRO Forum [2], to determine the scope of these positions and to describe the skills associated with common roles. The first step in any movement towards standardizing position descriptions, is to set some boundaries and identify some common eResearch roles.

In this ‘Birds of a Feather’ session, participants will collaborate to perform a simple role modelling process, in which they will classify and transform existing position titles into a more manageable collection. An appropriate framework, which will be presented at the start of the session, will provide a basis for participants to classify the roles. This may be based on the overlapping domains that eResearch spans (such as: Research, Information Technology, and Innovation) or the skill categories of SFIA [3]. The role modelling process, shown in Table 1., has been adapted from an existing ‘user role modelling’ process, as described by Cohn [4]. The steps of the process that will be performed in the session include: Discovery, Organization, and Consolidation.

Participants can submit their role titles, in advance of this session, via the following URL:

The resulting set of titles will subsequently be assigned appropriate skills and levels of responsibility using an appropriate framework, such as SFIA, as has already been done for various ICT roles [5].

Step Time (Mins) Goals
Introduction 15 Present the modelling process and classification framework.
Discovery 15 A visual representation of the framework is outlined on a whiteboard or wall.

Starting list of titles is shared amongst the participants.

Everyone writes role titles on sticky notes.

Notes are posted on the framework.

No discussion of the role names is allowed in this step.

Organization 15 Move the notes around the board to represent their relationships.

If roles overlap then overlap the notes, the degree of overlap represents the degree to which the roles overlap.

Consolidation 15 If notes overlap entirely,

·         remove a note, or

·         replace both with a consolidated name.

If notes overlap partially,

·         remove a note if the difference is not significant, or

·         replace one with a title that corresponds to the difference.

Remove any notes for roles that are not significant.

Rearrange the notes to show the important relationships and hierarchies between roles.

    Inputs: List of Role Titles, Classification Framework.

Outputs: Transformed and condensed set of Role Titles.

Table 1. Session Format.


  1. Australian eResearch Organisations (AeRO),, accessed 6 June 2018.
  2. C3DIS, AeRO Forum – eResearch Workshop,, accessed 6 June 2018.
  3. SFIA Foundation, The Skills Framework for the Information Age – SFIA, Available at:, accessed 6 June 2018.
  4. Cohn, M., User Stories Applied, Addison-Wesley, 2004, ISBN: 0-321-20568-5.
  5. ACS, Common ICT Job Profiles and Indicators of Skills Mobility, ICT Skills White Paper, 30 December, 2013,
    Available at:, accessed 6 June 2018.


Nicholas May is a software developer in the Research Capability unit at RMIT University. He has over twenty-nine years of varied experience within the software engineering profession, across industries and domains, and holds the Certified Professional status with the Australian Computer Society. His current role includes the responsibility for promoting research data management across the research lifecycle at RMIT University.

Samara is a computer scientist and technologist working in the Research Analytics Services team at Swinburne University. In addition to being a representative of FAVeR, she is also on the Melbourne Committee for Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK), Australia’s longest running hackathon for social good, and a member of Girl Geek Academy, supporting women in STEMM.

Caroline Gauld is the Deputy Director, Research Information Management (RIM) at Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group. The Research Information Management team supports research data management, knowledge management and records management across DST Group and works in collaboration with other technology specialists to support DST Group researchers to manage and preserve their research outputs and data.

Earth and Environment Science Information Partners – parallel pathways on opposite sides of the globe

Simon J D Cox1, Lesley Wyborn2, Adrian Burton3, Erin Robinson4, Tim Rawling5

1CSIRO Land and Water, Melbourne, Australia,

2National Computational Infrastructure, ANU, Canberra, Australia,

3Australian Research Data Commons, Canberra, Australia,

4Earth Science Information Partners, Boulder, USA,

5AuScope, Melbourne, Australia,



Addressing research problems in earth and environmental science usually requires combining data from multiple sources. This is facilitated by the use of common practices, vocabularies, interfaces and standards. The newly formed Earth and Environment Science Information Partners (E2SIP) provides a forum for coordinating these in the Australian research community. E2SIP is modelled on the US Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

Over the last 20 years the ESIP has built a community of practice in USA, through regular meetings, workshops, and online forums to examine and develop emerging technologies. Education and training are a key aspect of ESIP’s work. Conventions, practices and standards developed through ESIP have been influential internationally. The Australian Earth and Environment Science Information Partners has been established through liaison with ESIP to support similar functions in Australia. E2SIP will use ESIP’s collaboration platforms and will convene workshops, courses, hackathons, and develop guidance and best practices tailored for the Australian community. ESIP has been supported by NASA, NOAA, USGS and various foundations and scholarly organizations. E2SIP is working with the National Earth and Environment Sciences Facilities Forum which provides a common voice to government on behalf of long term science infrastructure.


This BoF session aims to introduce E2SIP to those members of the community who are not already involved.  It will highlight the opportunities that involvement will bring but will also give participants a voice in the evolution of the group.


A series of lightening talks from organisations committed to the formation of E2SIP will set the scene and then will be followed by an facilitated discussion with a panel comprising the nascent E2SIP membership.  The focus of the discussion will be the prioritization of focus areas for attention of E2SIP and the development of a broad engagement and science strategy for the group.  This discussion will allow participants to design E2SIP so that is meets local needs and, whist drawing form the ESIP parent model, is specifically applicable to Australian related earth and environmental science data issues.


The BoF will provide an engagement opportunity for E2SIP members, it will enable those unfamiliar with the program to better understand opportunities it may provide to them and will allow potential new members to become involved in the discussions that will frame the activities of the group.  At the end of the session E2SIP will produce a series of priority areas agreed to in the session that will inform future planning as the E2SIP cluster is established.

This work is in partnership with the US Earth Systems Information Partners (ESIP)


Simon has been researching standards for publication and transfer of earth and environmental science data since the emergence of the world wide web. Starting in geophysics and mineral exploration, he has engaged with most areas of environmental science, including water resources, marine data, meteorology, soil, ecology and biodiversity. He is principal- or co-author of a number of international standards, including Geography Markup Language, and Observations & Measurements, that have been broadly adopted in Australia and Internationally. The value of these is in enabling data from multiple origins and disciplines to be combined more effectively, which is essential in tackling most contemporary problems in science and society. His current work focuses on aligning science information with the semantic web technologies and linked open data principles, and the formalization, publication and maintenance of controlled vocabularies and similar reference data.

Connecting DMPs to power up research BoF

Natasha Simons1, Kathryn Unsworth2, Andrew Janke3, Peter Neish4, Liz Stokes5

1Australian Research Data Commons, Brisbane, Australia,

2CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia,

3National Imaging Facility, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia,

4The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia,

5University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia,



Data Management Plans (DMPs)1 are of increasing importance in the world of research. They are a requirement of many research funders and recommended by some research institutions. They are claimed to save time and effort for researchers, research institutions and funders, but have increasingly been viewed as a compliance burden with no evidence for efficacy2. International discussions within the community that creates and supports DMP tools, such as the RDA Active Data Management Plans Interest Group3, reflect a dynamic discussion about how DMPs can be made more effective and useful and to which standards can be applied. The Australian DMP community is heavily involved in contributing to and leading these discussions. Our community has also developed new, innovative tools and approaches that connect DMPs to things and people such as library systems, researchers, storage, ethics, persistent identifiers, research infrastructure providers, and so on (see examples from the eResearch Australasia 2017 DMPs workshop4). In some cases it can be shown that connecting services such as storage to minimal DMPs can drive uptake and compliance with Institutional systems and in an environment of shrinking budgets, it is vital that we maximise the benefits of the research systems we use.

This BoF session will bring the Australasian DMP community together to discuss connecting DMPs to power up research. It will build on discussions held at the eResearch Australasia 2017 DMP workshop and at the Australasian DMP Interest Group meetings5. Outcomes include the production of a comparative table of connected DMPs, the things they connect to, and the standards they use.


This BoF will be of interest to those implementing and supporting DMPs and DMP tools and particularly, those interested in discussing new approaches to connect DMPs for increased research efficiency and impact. Participants are asked to come prepared to contribute their ideas and experience to a lively discussion.


We will kick off with lightning talks presented by those who are working at the cutting edge of international developments in DMP tools and approaches. This will include updates from people involved in co-chairing international connected DMP working groups. We will then move to facilitated Q&A and participants will be encouraged to contribute to an open discussion to share experiences, explore ideas and ask questions. Feedback on a comparative table of connected DMPs will be sought throughout the session.


Participants in this BoF will come away with a better understanding of why and how DMPs are being connected to power better research and the things they are connected to. They will have had an opportunity to hear and comment upon international and local DMP tools and approaches with a view to future developments. Outcomes include the production of a comparative table of connected DMPs.


  1. Australian National Data Service. Data Management Plans., accessed 20 June 2018.
  2. Neylon C (2017) Compliance Culture or Culture Change? The role of funders in improving data management and sharing practice amongst researchers. Research Ideas and Outcomes 3: e14673., accessed 22 June 2018.
  3. Research Data Alliance Active DMPs IG., accessed 20 June 2018.
  4. DMPs workshop, eResearch Australasia 2017., accessed 20 June 2018.
  5. Australasian DMPs Interest Group., accessed 20 June 2018.


Natasha Simons is Program Leader, Skills Policy and Resources, with the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). She works with a variety of people and groups to improve data management skills, platforms, policies and practices. With a background in libraries, IT and eResearch, she has a history of developing policy, technical infrastructure and skills to support research and researchers. She is co-chair of the Research Data Alliance Interest Group on Data Policy Standardisation and Implementation and co-convenes an Australasian Data Management Plans Interest Group. Natasha is the Deputy Chair of the Australian ORCID Advisory Group and an Industry Fellow at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

Higher-level cloud services to support data analytics

Glenn Moloney1, Paul Coddington2, Andy Botting3, Siddeswara Guru4

1Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia,

2Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), eResearch SA, Adelaide, Australia,

3Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia,

4TERN, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia,


The Nectar Research Cloud has been very successful in providing cloud infrastructure-as-a-service. It now supports some additional higher-level services such as database-as-a-service, big data analytics services (Hadoop, Spark, etc), and also supports some virtual laboratories and related services that are customised for the needs of particular research domains.

The Nectar Research Cloud is now part of the new Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). As part of the planning for the ARDC, there is interest in what higher-level cloud services might be provided by the ARDC, for example we see an accelerating uptake of data analytics platforms like Jupyter notebooks, R and R-Studio, and virtual desktop environments across many fields of research: including the Humanities, Geosciences, Marine Sciences, Ecosystems Sciences and Astronomy. Many of these platforms are well suited to running on the cloud. These platforms are also adopting container orchestration technologies (such as Docker and Kubernetes) to deploy these platforms across cloud and non-cloud environments.

This BoF session will have a facilitated discussion on these issues:

  • what types of higher level data analytics solutions should we be aiming to support on the research cloud?
  • what are current practices for supporting these tools on the research cloud and elsewhere?
  • how can we make them easier for researchers to use?

To start the discussion there will be some short presentations on what is currently being done to support some of these tools on the Nectar Research Cloud and other commercial and international research cloud platforms.


Glenn Moloney – Director, Research Communities, Australian Research Data Commons. Specialties: eresearch, elearning, grid computing, research collaboration, experimental particle physics, data analysis and acquisition

Dr Paul Coddington is Associate Director, Research Cloud and Storage, Australian Research Data Commons. He has over 30 years experience in eResearch including computational science, high performance and distributed computing, cloud computing, software development, and research data management.

Andy Botting – Senior Engineer at the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), Nectar Research Cloud.  I’m a cloud-native Systems Engineer with a background in Linux, HPC.  Specialities: Linux, Android, Puppet, OpenStack and AWS.

Siddeswara Guru is a program lead for the TERN data services capability. He has experience in the development of domain-specific research e-infrastructure capabilities.

FAIR and friendly data services

Adrian Burton1, Carsten Friedrich2, Sebastien Mancini3, Bruce Simons4, Lesley Wyborn5, Mr Geoffrey Squire2, Dr Peter Dahlhaus4

1Australian Research Data Commons, Canberra, Australia,

2CSIRO Data61, Canberra, Australia,

3IMOS, Hobart, Australia,

4CeRDI Federation University, Ballarat, Australia,

5ANU, Canberra, Australia,



Data services have become an integral part of the research, government and industry sectors. They provide automated functions for the creation, access, processing and analysis of data. The development of data-focused services is steadily increasing in Australia, for example in the NCRIS capabilities (e.g., AuScope, IMOS, TERN, AURIN, ALA, NCI), CSIRO and government agencies (e.g., GA, Department of Environment, and ABS); all are moving to more formal publishing of data through services.

Properly deployed, standards conformant web services should enable cross domain discovery and in-situ programmatic access to process from multiple distributed sources. However, there are three fundamental issues that are currently impeding a more efficient use of data services in Australia:

  1. Findability and accessibility – a lack of consistency in service descriptions that makes it hard to discover data services and  action them;
  2. Interoperability and reusability – a lack of, or variable implementation of, standard protocols and information models that make it hard to aggregate identical data types from multiple sources; and
  3. Agreement on which data services standard to implement for a particular dataset.

This results in at least 4 approaches:

  1. Data from distributed resources are centralised (cached) in a single locality, harmonised and then made accessible via services from that central location;
  2. Data providers and/or facilities being requested to support an unsustainable number of protocols and standards;
  3. Data providers being asked to provide a custom modification to an individual specific service so that the data set can be accessed by a specific community; and
  4. Data services are idealistically provided by multiple sources and conform to a widely used, internationally agreed standards and can be sustainably accessed for many and varying use cases.

To make data services FAIRer and improve interoperability across multiple domains, for multiple use cases, ARDC has been organising two parallel activities:

  1. We formed a focus group with members from the NCRIS capabilities (ALA, AuScope, IMOS, TERN, NCI and a nascent Agriculture capability) and government agencies (e.g., CSIRO,  GA, BoM), that are working specifically on the ARDC funded Data Enhanced Virtual Laboratories (DeVL) and Research Data Cloud (RDC) Projects in  GeoScience, Marine Science, EcoScience, Climate and Agriculture.  The group discusses standardisation of data services description and APIs across these projects, with primary focus on data services that are compliant with a collection of OGC standards, OPeNDAP protocols, THREDDS data servers and GeoNetwork catalogues.

Based on community agreed service descriptions and an API, the ARDC Services team is developing a national service registration and discovery layer for both service providers and service consumers (Figure 1).  The discovery layer will address the findability issue and should provide a one stop for data consumers to search for and access data services offered across NCRIS facilities, universities, science agencies and government data providers that are participating in these particular DeVL and RDC projects. The interoperability and accessibility issues will be addressed by the community of data providers and consumers converging on common practice.

  1. We started a wider Australian Data Services Interest Group by facilitating discussion, exchanging information and experience of data services development across a broader range of Australian communities, including those involved in developing international standards for data service description and access. This interest group meets every three months and intends to take the lessons learnt from the more specific Focus Group and expand it to a wider community.

The two Interest Groups are in partnership with the Earth Systems Information Partners (ESIP) of the US, in particular the ESIP Information Interoperability and Technology Committee and the ESIP Data Stewardship Committee.  ESIP is supported by NASA, NOAA, USGS and 110+ member organizations.

Figure 1. Discovering Data Services through a Services Registry

We propose a 60-minute BoF session. The session provides a venue for a face-to-face meeting of the interest group, and also enables us to involve people from the wider community.  The BoF will include an introduction to data services, associated standards and effort we have made so far to make data services FAIRer.  We also invite people from Agriculture, Geoscience and Marine Science to introduce their implementation of data services.


Adrian Burton is Director of Services at the Australian National Data Service. Adrian has provided strategic input into several national infrastructure initiatives,  is active in building national policy frameworks to unlock the value in the research data outputs of publicly funded research.

Carsten Friedrich is a Research Team Leader at CSIRO Data61.  At CSIRO he worked in a variety of areas including Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Virtual Laboratories, and Scientific Software Registries.

Bruce Simons has 24 years geophysical surveying and interpretation, 17 years UML data modelling, and XML/GML schema development to implement interoperable network services using XML markup and OGC web services to enable schematic and semantic interoperabilty.

Lesley Wyborn currently has a joint adjunct fellowship with NCI.  She is Chair of the Australian Academy of Science ‘Data for Science Committee’ and on the AGU Data Management Advisory Board and the Steering Committee of the AGU-led FAIR Data Publishing Project.

“Would you like to chat?” The Ethics of AI in Higher Education

Dr Craig Bellamy1, Mr Mohsin Murtaza1, Mr Ather Saeed1

1Charles Sturt University, Fitzroy, Australia


After many false dawns, AI may be gaining traction. Chatbots, Natural Language Processing, robots, autonomous vehicles, and the combination of big data and AI are all findings applications in a myriad of commercial and other contexts.  AI was once about explicit commands; what you put in is what you got out, but now it is about machine learning from big data, about machines that not only learn, but can also make decisions.

This ability to make decisions poses numerous thorny ethical dilemmas, can an autonomous vehicle avoid collisions ‘ethically’; can a chatbot impersonate a human for nefarious purposes, and can an autonomous military drone decipher images of illicit activity and then take action?  These are not dystopian projections of a sci-fi future, rather these ethical issues that exist now within the province of AI and its applications.

Whilst ethicists have been quick to provide critique, debate, and numerous frameworks for an ethical AI future, (indeed the Australian Government has just proposed a “technology roadmap, a standards framework and a national AI Ethics Framework”, and regulation in the space), higher education has been fairly quiet in terms of debating the impacts of AI on teaching and research and the broader HE education system.  Indeed, while AI applications are not yet readily used in research, this could change quite rapidly as has the use of ‘big data’ in research across both the digital humanities and the sciences.

Many ethical issues surround the foremost issue of IT ethics, being privacy, but also new issues arise, particularly centred upon the interpretation of data using machine learning, transparency, and Ai’s influence upon later research findings, its accreditation, and broader social influence.  This is a particularly difficult issue as AI does afford many benefits in terms of the researcher’s ability to deal with the scale and complexity of big data along with the phenomena it records and represents, but there are things that machines are good at and things that people are good at, and this intersection of machines and people, including the ethics of interpretation and decision making, needs to be considered from the very emergence of AI in research and education.

This Birds of Feather session proposes to discuss the ethics of AI, big data and research, with the purpose of providing a rudimentary ethical framework for embryonic AI in research and teaching practice.  This framework may be used as a stand-alone guide for researchers or ethics teachers or as an addendum to existing research ethics, privacy and data processing guidelines. During the BOF session, discussion materials, provocative example, and talking points will be provided to draw on the experience of the audience to help develop the framework.


  • Bostrom, Nick, “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies”, Oxford University Press, 2014
  1. Pollit, Edward, “Budget 2018: National AI ethics framework on the way, Increased regulation signalled as part of $30m investment” Australian Computer Society,–ai-boost-with-an-ethical-focus.html (Accessed 13 June, 2018).
  2. Rose Luckin, “Enhancing Learning and Teaching with Technology: What the research says” Institute of Education Press (IOE Press), 2018
  3. Seldon, Anthony, “The Fourth Education Revolution”, University of Buckingham Press, 2018


Dr Craig Bellamy is a Lectures in IT and Ethics at Charles Sturt University’s Study Centre in Melbourne.  He has a background in the Digital Humanities and has presented and published widely in the field.

Mohsin Murtaza currently working at Study Centre Melbourne CSU as Adjunct Lecturer and Course Coordinator IT. He worked as Lecturer in several Australian Universities including La Trobe, Central Queensland and Federation University. He has completed Master of Telecommunication Engineering from La Trobe University and achieved “Golden Key Award”.

Ather Saeed is a  Course Coordinator for CSU (IT & Networking Programs)  and is currently pursuing a PhD (thesis titled “Fault-tolerance in the Healthcare Wireless Sensor Networks”). He has a Masters in Information Technology & Graduate Diploma ( IT) from the University of Queensland, Master of Computer Science (Canadian Institute of Graduate Studies). He has published several research papers in international journals.

Making data access easier with OPeNDAP

Adrian Burton1, Ben Evans3, Justin Freeman4, Gareth Williams5,James Gallagher2Duan Beckett4Kate Snow3Robert Davy5Mingfang Wu1

1Australian Research Data Commons, Canberra, Australia,


3National Computational Infrastructure, Canberra, Australia,

 4Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Australia,  

5CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia,



When more and more data are collected and made discoverable and available, there is a requirement of making data easily accessible. Accessing data through a downloadable URL from the web is convenient for small data, but not so for big data set, slicing a data set from a huge data collection, or assembling a dataset from multiple data sets in different data format.  OPeNDAP (Open Source Project for a Network Data Access Protocol) provides a framework for making scientific data available to remote consumers via the web. It is also a software framework that simplifies all aspects of data networking, allowing simple access to remote data.  Data providers can build their data provision server on top of the OPeNDAP framework or deploy existing solutions such THRREDDS, Hyrax, ERDDAP or PyDAP to make their data accessible, no matter data is stored in CSV, HDF or NetCDF files, in databases or another other formats.  While data consumers can virtually access data from custom built OPeNDAP such as NSA Earthdata search or any general tools such as R, Python, MATLab, or ArCGIS that support web access.

This 60 minutes will feature presentations from BOM, NCI, IMOS, and CSIRO on their OPeNDAP applications. The BoF is open for discussion of latest tooling, standard/vocabularies, any DAP-based data-retrieval-access architectures, science applications, and FAIR for DAP among many other topics. We will also gather community’s interaction for future actions such as organising a proper set of workshops.

We are also in partnership with the Earth Systems Information Partners (ESIP) of the US to form OPeNDAP community, in particular the ESIP Information Interoperability and Technology Committee and the ESIP Data Stewardship Committee.  ESIP is supported by 110+ member organizations including OPeNDAP, Unidata and HDF.


Adrian Burton is Director of Services at the Australian National Data Service. Adrian has provided strategic input into several national infrastructure initiatives, is active in building national policy frameworks to unlock the value in the research data outputs of publicly funded research.

Ben Evans is associated Director of Research Engagement and Initiatives.

Peter Blain is a project leader, information systems architect, cognitive scientist and entrepreneur.

Justin Freeman is high performance computing Application Specialist at Bureau of Meteorology.

Gareth Williams leads a small team of Data Intensive Computing specialists in CSIRO’s Scientific Computing support group.

Identifying, connecting and citing research with persistent identifiers

Natasha Simons1, Andrew Janke2, Jens Klump3, Lesley Wyborn4, Adrian Burton5, Siobhann McCafferty6, Gerry Ryder7

1Australian Research Data Commons, Brisbane, Australia,

2National Imaging Facility, Centre for Advanced Imaging, UQ, Brisbane, Australia,

3CSIRO Mineral Resources, Perth, Australia,

4National Computational Infrastructure, Canberra, Australia,

5Australian Research Data Commons, Canberra, Australia,

6Australian Access Federation, Brisbane, Australia,

7Australian Research Data Commons, Adelaide, Australia,



Increasingly, the research community, including funders and publishers, is recognising the power of ‘connected up’ research to facilitate reuse, reproducibility and transparency of research. Persistent identifiers (PIDs) are critical enablers for identifying and linking related research objects including datasets, people, grants, concepts, places, projects and publications.   PID systems:

  • Provide social and technical infrastructure to identify and cite a research output over time
  • Enable machine readability and exchange
  • Collect and make available metadata that can provide further context and connections
  • Facilitate the linkage and discovery of research outputs, objects, related people and things

Join this BoF to learn about recent developments in PID services and infrastructure with a particular focus on DOI (research data), ORCID (people and organisations), RAID (research activities and projects) and IGSN (physical samples and specimens).

Find out how to maximise the return on your investment in PIDS through participation in global initiatives such as Scholix and the Research Data Switchboard which use PIDS to offer researchers, and research institutions a richer, more connected experience.


This BoF will be of interest to those implementing, maintaining and supporting PID services including repository managers, developers and librarians. Participants should come along prepared to exchange knowledge, share experiences and contribute to discussions about optimising the ‘power of PIDs’.


The session will kick off with brief lightning talks presented by those working at the cutting edge of global developments in PID services and infrastructure.  Following facilitated Q&A, participants will be encouraged to contribute to an open discussion to share experiences, explore ideas and ask questions.


Participants will leave the BoF with a fresh perspective on the opportunities PIDs can offer researchers and research organisations.  We envisage that many participants will be prompted to explore in greater depth, ideas raised during the session as they might apply to their organisation.
The BoF will also offer participants the opportunity to establish or strengthen connections with the broader PID community in Australia and internationally.


Natasha Simons is Program Leader, Skills Policy and Resources with the Australian National Data Service.

Sensitive Data – How do you do yours?

Frankie Stevens1, Jeff Christiansen2, Kate Le May3, Steve McEachern4, Angela Gackle5, Ingrid Mason1

1AARNet, Sydney, Australia,, and QCIF,

3Australian Research Data Commons, Canberra, Australia,




Sensitive data are data relating to people, animal or plant species, data generated or used under a restrictive commercial research funding agreement, and data likely to have significant negative public and/or personal impact if released. Major, familiar categories of sensitive data are: data concerning human participants, data relating to species of plants or animals and commercially sensitive data. Most research institutions will have some form of sensitive data, yet there is no commonly adopted process, policy or storage architecture employed across institutions in Australia when it comes to sensitive data.

The legal framework around sensitive data in is complex and differs within and between nations. Different pieces of legislations regulate the collection, use, disclosure and handling of sensitive data, and there are also many ethical considerations around the management and sharing of sensitive data, in addition to funding body compliance elements on sensitive data. Together, these present a confusing landscape for researchers wanting to work collaboratively with sensitive data, keep it safe, make it FAIR, and perhaps enable its reusability.

This 60 Minute BoF will be facilitated by AARNet as a national provider of research data storage and data movement technologies. The BoF will feature a small number of guest speakers representing the broad perspective of sensitive data (medical, cultural, species,…), who will briefly (3-5 min) share with delegates what approaches and infrastructure they employ for their sensitive data needs to enable collaboration, security, FAIRness and reusability.

Participants in the BoF will be able to engage with live Q&As using Direct Poll to contribute to, and guide discussions within the BoF, all visible through live charts. Using this technology, the BoF will determine what the common challenges are when dealing with sensitive data, and what potential solutions might address these. The BoF will also present opportunities to guide a national strategic approach to the management of sensitive data.


The authors represent expertise in sensitive data that ranges from the Medical/Health disciplines, through to Cultural and Ecology perspectives.

Dr Frankie Stevens and Ingrid Mason currently hold roles with AARNet, the Australian Research and Education network, and have an extensive number of years of eResearch experience between them.

Jeff Christiansen of QCIF is an expert on the legislative considerations surrounding sensitive data, having authored the excellent discussion paper on the topic in

Kate LeMay is a Senior Research Data Specialist with the ARDC, and has a keen interest in sensitive data, particularly with respect to ethical considerations.

Steve McEachern is Director of the Australian Data Archive, which provides a national service for the collection and preservation of digital data relating to social, political and economic affairs.

Angela Gackle from TERN brings representation on the sensitivities of Ecological data, where threatened animal and plant species might be at risk

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    About the conference

    eResearch Australasia provides opportunities for delegates to engage, connect, and share their ideas and exemplars concerning new information centric research capabilities, and how information and communication technologies help researchers to collaborate, collect, manage, share, process, analyse, store, find, understand and re-use information.

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