Research Data Repository Project

The Research Data Repository is being built and rolled out starting in mid-2012. It will be a managed, backed-up service for researchers to store digital data, from working data that is changing and being actively used to archival data that can be used to support published findings, comply with legal, ethical and funder requirements for data retention and serve as a platform for data re-use. The repository aims to improve the quality and reach of Western Sydney University research, and aid researchers in complying with grant-funder requirements around open access to publications and data.

There are two key components to the repository. 

  1. The Research Data Store (RDS) is the storage component of the service. This will be managed by Information Technology Digital Services (ITDS), with support via self-service options for simple storage needs, and via the Service Desk for more complex requirements.

    The RDS will be designed to be easy to access for researchers from all disciplines via standard services that suit the researchers involved, such as shared drives (the 'R' drive for research), Dropbox-like services for easy data sharing, and more sophisticated connections to research infrastructure such as version control systems, databases, and discipline-specific data management applications.

    Included in this component are all the maintenance processes and hardware support required to manage availability of the data, keeping it private when needed and making it publicly available whenever possible.
  2. The Research Data Catalogue, managed by the University Library, will keep track of the data in the storage service and prevent the all too common problem of storage filling up, with no documentation about what all the data is for. The catalogue will keep track of how long data should be kept, how it can be reused, and advertise appropriate data for re-use both within the University and with potential collaborators.

The Research Data Repository project is important to researchers because it will:

  • Provide much-needed data security in a centrally managed way (no more will researchers be forced into disk drives and being responsible for backups).
  • Make compliance with national, University and funder requirements for data as easy and painless as possible.
  • Allow researchers to advertise and optionally publish their data for re-use and citation by collaborators.

Complete list of posts relating to the project: