Background

Press - Aims of the Metadata Stores Program

Press - Funding Rules

What is ANDS?

The Australian National Data Service (ANDS) was established in January 2009. It was originally created as part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) initiative to ensure that research data could be used as effectively as possible by Australian researchers. The Super Science initiative announced in May 2009 provided additional funding from the Education Investment Fund (EIF) to establish the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). This provided the opportunity to leverage both NCRIS and EIF funds to build a co‐ordinated set of programs through to June 2013.

Objectives

The driver for these initiatives is a desire for Australian researchers to have unprecedented access to data, enabling more efficient, and more new, research to be conducted in a richer data environment. To enable this, ANDS focuses on four data transformations – to managed, connected, findable and re‐usable – that will enable Australia’s research data as a whole to become a nationally strategic resource. The data transformations critically involve the creation of accurate descriptions of the research data (metadata).

To be useful, this metadata also needs to be properly managed so that it can be harvested and exposed to search engines as well as other researchers. A Store of Metadata about Research Data Collections and Associated Entities, aka 'Metadata Stores' are a key component of this infrastructure.

ANDS has already funded the development of a number of software solutions for creating rich metadata records about collections of data. ANDS is now offering to provide additional support to institutions as they undertake deployment and expansion of their institution‐wide metadata stores.

Aims of the Metadata Stores Program

The goal of the ANDS Metadata Stores Program is to contribute to the development of an overall research data infrastructure at selected Australian Universities. This includes the ability to:

  • manage descriptions of data collections held at the institution
  • enable discovery and reuse of data collections held at the institution
  • support strategic planning for research in the institution
  • ensure high quality of metadata, in support of the other requirements for a metadata store
in support of:
  • A institution wide approach to gathering metadata
  • An automated means of collecting all relevant collections information
  • A single point of providing information about the institution's data holdings to others, including ANDS, but also other more focused data portals such as the Atlas of Living Australia.

Funding Rules

According to EIF funding rules, ANDS ...can fund: The building of software infrastructure that supports research activities. i.e.
  • Specification development for software
  • Software development at enterprise level
  • Installation, configuration and testing of software
… cannot fund:
  • Ongoing staffing or support costs i.e. software maintenance
  • Research activities
  • Purchasing of IT hardware for storage or any other purpose
  • 'Proof of concept' software development
  • Scoping exercises or studies in the amount of research data available at
    an institution
  • Funding of work by parties based outside Australia
  • Manual creation of metadata (beyond that required for software specification and testing)
  • Digitisation of data
  • Travel, unless it directly advances the project
  • Training courses for project members in task related skills
NB. This funding cannot be used to fund research and does not count as research funding under the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) exercise. Selection ANDS has offered research intensive institutions up to $225,000 each to assist with the deployment of:
  • a metadata store for research data collections,
  • with connectors to institutional sources of truth,
  • with coverage over the entire institution,
  • and with feeds provided to the Australian Research Data Commons.

While it is understood that this level of funding may not be sufficient to realise sustainable institutional infrastructure for metadata, ANDS expects partner institutions to demonstrate a whole‐of‐institution commitment to this infrastructure by providing in‐kind investment in the deployment and maintenance of metadata stores. Institutions can use the funding to enhance existing metadata store infrastructure if this exists. Where appropriate, ANDS will assist institutions to manage more detailed information about data objects (as well as collections).

Funding has been restricted to a subset of institutions that have already received funding from the ANDS Data Capture program. Institutions that have already received separate funding through the Metadata Stores program have had that funding amount deducted from their allocation.