UWS eResearch at the DVC’s strategy day

This is a presentation for the UWS Deputy Vice Chancellor’s Strategy day, convened by Andrew Cheetham, but since it’s basically a “meet the team here’s what we do” kind of presentation I thought I’d make it into a blog post as well.

This post also takes the opportunity to try-out the work done for UWS eResearch by a group of Professional Experience students in third year computer science, on an inline web-based slide show viewer [Update 2014-01-06: Note, this code is hosted on github and the students chose a license for the code which contains a rude word, which raised some eyebrows amongst colleagues here at UWS. If you don’t like to look at rude words don’t visit this link, but if you do want to use the code on your own prohect then you will have to read the license rude word and all.] .

UWS eResearch

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We’re here to collaborate. Read more about us

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Consider this slide going up a soft-launch of the new UWS eResearch web site .

eResearch mission

The eResearch mission is to:

To build an eResearch-ready UWS by ensuring that UWS researchers have the information and communications technology resources, infrastructure, support and skills required to collaborate on high-impact high-integrity research without geographical or organisational constraints.


We do this via:

  • Communications and outreach;

  • Consulting on hard technical problems beyond the scope of UWS IT Services;

  • Collaboration on eResearch projects such as the flagship Human Communication Science Virtual Laboratory; and most of all;

  • Helping IT Services to construct and source infrastructure for connected research.

Governance & context

Desire paths and goat tracks


A big part of our job involves working out new routes to
successful research outcomes, either following researchers who
tramp their way across new territory (walking on the critical and well maintained UWS flower-bed infrastructure) or making our own
track and inviting them to follow. Our job is to explore and
survey, not to build and maintain the roads, but we do have a say
in where the roads go.

Over the past two years the eResearch unit at UWS has established the basis for an eResearch-ready research community. A small group has been established with skills in:

  • Complex IT support for data management, high performance and cloud computing;

  • Design, development and deployment of repositories, virtual laboratories and eResearch tools;

  • Community building for both research cohorts and across support groups (ORS, Library and ITS);

  • Open-source software development and deployment, including specialisations in repositories, data management scholarly communications systems, High Performance Computing (HPC) and low-cost multi-screen visualisation systems.

Ancient history: 2012

“First steps in establishing data management”

  • Established a Research Data Repository Project

  • Started best-practice eResearch governance with Projects Committee reporting to PVCR

  • Three Australian National Data Service projects establish Data Acquisition, Archiving and Advertising of UWS research data .

  • Extensible Storage Service (60TB+) established

  • Assisted the MARCS Institute to secure $3M NeCTAR HCS Virtual Laboratory

Recent history: 2013

“End to end data management”

  • AAAA Data management achieved at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE)

  • Research Data Repository open for business

  • High Performance Computing consolidated under central support and procurement

  • First deployments of central/cloud-provided eResearch infrastructure at HIE via Intersect

  • eResearch integration with new IT Service catalogue

  • Groundwork on UWS policies for research data management and Open Access to publications and data

  • Full governance and eResearch working-group structure

The Future: 2014

  • Roll-out AAAA data management to more institutes

  • Establish eResearch community groups and networks led by UWS eResearch

  • Fully integrate eResearch Services with Service Desk

  • Work with Intersect to lead the development of sustainable cloud-based eResearch infrastructure

Key Challenges:

  • Establishing a dedicated eResearch and infrastructure budget

  • Securing continued core resourcing

Case Study: The HCS vLab drag and drop research!


This project is worth around $3M with $1.3 coming from the government, USW-MARCS leads a multi-institutional team in an effort to conenct data, tools and users in a large scale joining up of a variety of disciplines under the banner “Human Communication Science”

The two slides here show how a researcher can drag and drop analytical tools to run analysis on audio data. This is one example – the lab contains a huge variety of text, audio and video data and a growing number of tools that can be run on the data.

HCS vLab

Case-study AAAA data management at HIE


Read more about AAAA data management in this presentation from Open Repositories 2013

Creative Commons License
UWS eResearch at the DVC’s strategy day by Peter Sefton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.