UNSW develops research data archive

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has launched a Research Data Archive to provide an institution-wide long-term storage platform. It has been designed specifically for researchers to securely search and share data with colleagues and comply with research data policies and codes of practice.

This platform is integrated with UNSW’s Research Data Management Plans and takes advantage of the advanced metadata management capabilities of the Mediaflux software platform and extensible SGI storage architecture. 

The Data Archive allows researchers to keep a complete and traceable copy of their data in a durable and accessible manner. Once files are uploaded, they are locked and versioned.  Researchers can use the store to track the full history of their evolving projects and by integrating it with the self-service portal, it gives researchers direct control of who accesses their data. It also gives the University visibility on which research areas are generating and storing large amounts of data.

The move to a metadata-based store, using Mediaflux, takes care of many of the repetitive data-tagging issues faced by individual researchers and research projects; such as automatically linking project information to individual data files. Advanced metadata tools also makes searching easier to improve re-use of valuable datasets.

“One of our goals over the next couple of years is to give researchers better tools to mine their own data and to aid data discovery across projects and disciplines” said Luc Betbeder-Matibet, Director Faculty IT Services at UNSW.

“The aim is not just to provide file storage but to support research practice at all stages of the research lifecycle. Starting with Archive Data, which is a common problem for all the projects on campus, and aligning this service with our Data Management approaches is one more step we are taking towards making UNSW a great place to carry out data-intensive research work.”

The service is available to both researchers and UNSW’s Higher Degree Research candidates. It is free to use and does not impose any quotas. It is a joint service launched by UNSW Research Division, the UNSW Library, and UNSW IT.

“By taking a strategic view of how UNSW data is managed, it is not only building on its reputation as one of the top research-intensive universities globally,” said Jason Lohrey, chief technology officer of Arcitecta.

“The University is enhancing the institution’s linkages with industry and, embedding data integrity and lifecycle management into UNSW’s research culture.”