Recognising valuable data collections as national research assets: The foundations of impact

Dr Max Wilkinson1

1ARDC, Canberra, Australia

The ARDC believes that to maximise the impact of research data output, researchers must have timely access to high quality data collections, stored on stable and persistent infrastructure.  A primary framework to deliver this outcome are the FAIR data principles as applied to content, specifically valuable national data collections.  Through partnerships with eligible organisations, the Data Retention Project focuses on the F, A and R aspects of FAIR and lays the foundations that embed incentives in both business and data management practices.

Partnerships in the Data Retention Project will embed contemporary research data management processes that enrich data collections with controlled and consistent metadata into common infrastructure business models.

This presentation will discuss the challenges of bridging the gap between information management and service provision in the context of the ARDC strategic vision and explain the approaches we have taken to realise the benefits to the Australian research sector.


Max Wilkinson is the Research Data Infrastructure Architect for the ARDC,  following a 5 year period as an independent consultant providing services to the research data management, governance and infrastructure domains in New Zealand and Australia. He spent 20 years in the UK, most recently as Head of Research Data Services at UCL, the Datasets Programme Manager at the British Library and Informatics coordinator at Cancer Research UK.  His interests include navigating the complex nature of research data management, in particular the role of ownership, responsibility and infrastructure in the scholarly record.

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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