eResearch manager’s report 2014-07-28


Since the last meeting of the UWS eResearch Committee on May 22nd we have updated the eResearch roadmap to reflect where we are in relation to the plan as it was set out at the beginning of 2014.

In June I attended the Open Repositories conference and a couple of other events to do with open access to publications and data, including organising an open-data publications text-mining hackfest in Edinburgh.

Looking to the future, the eResearch team has been involved in two internal funding bids in the last week:

  1. Research Portal 2 (P2): to develop a joined up research presence for the university, like the Research hub projects at Griffith and JCU.
  2. More end-to end data management via more support for the AAAA data management program we’re already running.

UWS Events – Research Bazaar

Now that UWS has all our staff positions filled, we’re making a big push to do more outreach to researchers via a number of channels, including visiting departmental meetings and research forums, along with attempting to run as many eResearch-relevant training events as we can get takers for. This is all done with the help of the eResearch Communications Working Group chaired by Susan Robbins from the UWS library.

To build eResearch capability we’re trying out Research Bazaar approach, which started in Melbourne with Steve Manos and David Flanders.

What exactly, might you ask, is the ‘Research Bazaar’ aka “ResBaz”? #ResBaz is, first and foremost, a campaign to empower researchers in the use of the University’s core IT services:

  • Empowering researchers to collaborate with one another through the use of research apps on our cloud services.

  • Empowering researchers to share the data with trusted partners via our data services.

  • Empowering researchers to establish their reputation through our parallel computing and supercomputing services.
  • Empowering researchers to invent new ways of experimenting through our emerging technology services.

Our eResearch partners Intersect are helping with this; they offer a number of Learning and Development courses, and we’re talking to them about developing and importing more.

Speaking of importing eResearch training expertise, we ran the first of a series of Research Bazaar events: Mapping for the Digital Humanities powered Melbourne eResearcharians Steve Bennet and Fiona Tweedie.

Right at the beginning of July Alveo, the virtual laboratory for Communications Science was launched by the NSW chief scientist Mary O’Kane and UWS vice-Chancellor Barney Glover with a two-day event, starting with a hackfest day to generate ideas and interest, promote use of the lab and provide some hands on training. While we didn’t brand this as a Research Bazaar activity is certainly in the #resbaz spirit.


DC21/HIEv Wraps up

The HIEv project, née DC21 is now completed and HIEv has about 50 regular users at HIE. Thanks to Peter Bugeia at Intersect for project managing the final stages of the rollout and Gerry Devine, HIE data manager for promoting the software, and putting it to good use to build dashboards etc.

New features include:

  • Log in using your account at using the Australian Access Federation.
  • Share data securely with a research cohort until you’re ready to publish it to the world for re-use and citation.

New: Major Open Data Collection for the humanities

Our latest project, the Major Open Data Collections project funded by the Australian National Data Service is in the establishment phase:

  • Carmi Cronje is working with the ITS Project Management Office to establish the project and its various steering committees, boards etc.
  • The key staff member for the project, the data librarian has been appointed. Katrina Trewin, currently working in the UWS Library joins us on August 4th.

Adelta is nearly finished

The Adelta project is nearing completion, with users now testing the service:

  • User Interface work by Intersect is nearly done, pending some discussions with the Library about accessibility requirements.
  • Final bug fixes and tweaks are being applied, as per this milestone.
  • We are working with Sydney development company to integrate the service with the Design And Art Online database, so that we have a true linked-data approach, with Adelta authors being identified using DAAO URIs. This builds upon one of the Developer Competition entries from Open Repositories 2014 – the Fill My List URI lookup service.


Andrew Leahy consulted for the Google Atmosphere event (Tue July 22) at the Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh. This was a Wonderama demonstration in collaboration with NGIS, showcasing some of the NSW state government data hosted with Google’s geo platform.

Cr8it project rolls on

Cr8it is a collaboration between Newcastle, Intersect and UWS to build an application which live in a dropbox-like file Share Sync See service, so that people can move their research data from being sets of files, to well-described data collections in a repository.

  • User testing has started on parts of the software to do with selecting, and managing files.
  • Recent development work has been focussing on re-factoring the application to make it more testable, and easier to build on, once this is done we’re on the home straight to hook it up to the Research Data Repositories at UWS and Newcastle and start publishing data.

We are now seeing a lot of uptake of Cloudstor+, the AARNeT researcher-ready version of ownCloud, on which we are planning to put Cr8it from UWS users, for example Andrew Leahy reports that a few users a week are adopting it at his suggestion.

AAAA data management

Project to establish data management practices and infrastructure in the BENS group and the Structures Lab at IIE are continuing and we are developing new AAAA projects to start soon.


New eResearch Analyst David Clarke has coined the term DORA: Digital Object Repository for Academe, a name for a generic service-oriented component for storing research data, which adheres to a set of eResearch principles David and the rest of the team are working on. We are currently evaluating software against the ideal DORA model. David’s happy to talk to you about this, as he has an Open-DORA policy ☺.

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eResearch manager’s report 2014-7-28 by Peter Sefton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Internal update: UWS eResearch roadmap 2014 Q3 & 4

About this document

This is the mid-year revision of University of Western Sydney eResearch team roadmap for 2014. This document will be consulted at the eResearch committee and working-group meetings to track progress throughout the year.


The timelines below have traffic-light colours to show progress. Green means things are going according to plan. Yellow means there have been delays or setbacks but these are being managed and monitored. Red means targets were not met. The main ‘red’ area is the Open Access policy – a draft has been developed and has received support from the eResearch committee and DVCR&D, is undergoing review in the office of the DVCR&D.


This plan assumes the current level of staffing and resources for the eResearch team and does not make any assumptions about further project funding, apart from the ANDS Major Collections project, which is in its initiation phase.


The eResearch team vision statement:

Support the objectives of the UWS research plan by creating an eResearch Ready UWS, where information and communications technologies support the collaborative conduct of high-impact, high-integrity research with minimal geographical and organisational constraints. eResearch will assist in the transition to a research culture where IT and communications technologies are integral to all research, from the fundamental underpinnings of data acquisition and creation, management and archiving, to analytical and methodological processes. Our aim is to work with stakeholders within and beyond the university to ensure UWS researchers have the information and communications technology resources, infrastructure, support and skills required, wherever they are on the path to an eResearch ready UWS.

How does this fit with the UWS research plan?

The eResearch plan is aligned with and supports the UWS Research plan. (Note this plan is now obsolete, a new one is coming with a greater emphasis on impact and community engagement and broadening research income beyond competitive grant income).

Objectives 1-3

  • Objective 1 – Increase external research income to the University

  • Objective 2 – Increase the number of fields of research at UWS operating above or well above world standard

  • Objective 3 – Increase the number and concentration of funded research partnerships

These objectives depend on UWS having a high-integrity research environment in which the institution will be able to support researchers in meeting their obligations under the Australian Code for the Responsible conduct of Research and funder expectations about data management, which is attractive to researchers, funders and collaborators. Building eResearch infrastructure, via the projects discussed below, and the forthcoming ITS research infrastructure roadmap will help create an environment conducive to successful income generation, and improve support for researchers aiming for high research performance.

  • During 2014 eResearch will begin replicating the successful roll out of end-to-end data management at HIE by creating small, tightly focused projects with clear success criteria which are aligned to the research goals of the university (Via the AAAA data management project methodology currently in development).

  • eResearch will continue to work closely with eResearch-intensive groups, for example by supporting phase two of Alveo (formerly HCS vLab) a NeCTAR grant ($1.3M, with a total project budget of ~ $3M) to set-up and implement a Virtual Laboratory for the multiple partners in the project: Above and Beyond Speech, Language and Music: A Virtual Lab for Human Communication Science.

Objective 4 – Ensure UWS attracts and graduates high quality Higher Degree Research (HDR) students to its areas of research strength.

During 2014 eResearch will be implementing programs to support HDR students, along with early-career researchers and the rest of the research community. This includes the establishment of self-supporting eResearch communities via a trial of the University of Melbourne ‘Research Bazaar’ model.

eResearch will work with our eResearch partner, Intersect to start delivering a broad range of eResearch training, building on previous training that has been delivered for High Performance Computing, see Communications and Organisational Development. HDR students will be key to this, as both one of the main audiences for training, and also serving as trainers, promulgating eResearch techniques and mind-set throughout the university.


Assumed Core Resources

  • eResearch Manager – Peter Sefton

  • eResearch Technical Advisor (~0.8 FTE) – Andrew Leahy

  • eResearch Support Officer / eResearch Analyst – TBA

  • eResearch Project Implementation Officer / Communications – Cornelia (Carmi) Cronje.

  • Intersect eResearch Analyst – Peter Bugeia

Other Resources

The resources are from other areas of the university and are financed by that cost centre. They are currently on loan to the eResearch team until October 2014.

  • Application Developer, ITS

  • Web Application Developer (provided by ITS – until ITS restructure unfolds)


The eResearch Associates are employed in key UWS research institutes or schools and work closely with the eResearch team and provide technical expertise to assist researchers.

  • Gerard Devine – HIE Data Manager –

  • Jason Ensor – Research Development Officer (Digital Humanities)

  • Nathan Mckinlay – ICT Professional Officer – IIE

  • James Wright – Technical Officer in Bioelectronics & Neuroscience – BENS


The eResearch team has no formal budget separately from the office of the DVCR&D. Recommendation: consolidate remaining project funds into an eResearch projects account to support projects in the eResearch portfolio.

  • Money that’s in the MS23 financial account ~ $22,244.24

  • RDR budget remaining ~ 100K (subject to confirmation from ITS)

Focus areas

Policy Working Group

The policy working group is chaired by Kerrin Patterson, Associate Director Performance and Quality (Acting), Office of Engagement, Strategy & Quality. The group has identified two priorities:

  • Establishing an Open Access (OA) policy for both research publications and research data.

  • Creating a Research Data Management (RDM) policy.

The working group has made substantial progress on the Open Access (OA) policy, and has asked the Manager, eResearch to review the policy framework at UWS, particularly the Research Code before starting on the Research Data Management (RDM) policy. Recent changes to Australian Research Council (ARC) funding rules for Discovery grants, mean this is now a pressing issue for both the OA and RDM policies at UWS:

A11.5.2 Researchers and institutions have an obligation to care for and maintain

research data in accordance with the Australian Code for the Responsible

Conduct of Research (2007). The ARC considers data management

planning an important part of the responsible conduct of research and

strongly encourages the depositing of data arising from a Project in an

appropriate publicly accessible subject and/or institutional repository.





Open Access Policy

Draft presented to DVCR

Policy adopted

Support DVCR&D in progressing policy thru the UWS process

Revise materials to support the policy, new Powerpoint slide show possible statements from Scott Holmes

See communications working group plan

Research Data Management policy

Review of UWS policy, particularly the Research Code

Review of UWS policy complete

Policy WG finish gap-analysis/comparison of UWS policies

Policy WG recommend whether we need an RDM policy and what its scope should be

Policy working group produce draft of RDM policy and/or updates to related policies

Communications and Organisational Development

The Communications working group is chaired by Susan Robbins, Research Services Coordinator for the UWS library. The following table sets out the broad goals for this area.

During 2014 the eResearch will be working with Intersect to establish an organisational development approach to eResearch under the “Research Bazaar” banner.





Communications plans

Generic matrix to be used for eResearch messaging

Implement for eResearch website

Communications WG publish updated plan

eResearch publish an events calendar

As directed by comms WG

Awareness campaign for OA policy

Launch of some sort?

Web pages published

Webinars and face to face briefings

Publish web pages about the policy on main site

Set up calendar for webinars and other outreach

Library to run OA promotion campaign to get more deposits

ORS to include comms about OA in research lifecycle touchpoints

Capability- Building in research groups*


Produce training resources and communicate they exist?

Run 1 #ResBaz** workshop from Melb.

Book in 2 Intersect courses

1 event run at each of HIE, DHRC, MARCS

Trial 1 Software Carpentry

Alignment of eResearch with research lifecycle

Planning / development

Two diagrams HDR and Researchers

Produce draft of lifecycle

Get feedback on draft from stakeholders (lib, ORS, eResearch, researchers)

Physical posters for use by key stakeholders

Publish lifecycle on eResearch website

Integrate lifecycle into stakeholder websites


Conference presentations, journal articles, The Conversation etc

Identify potential topics and co-authors

Contact collaborators and commence writing online opinion pieces, blog posts etc.

Submit conference abstracts

Open Repositories

eResearch Australasia

Facilitate BOF session

eResearch included in Research Training agenda and materials


Plan established with ORS

Plan with ORS (Mary Krone, Luc Small)

As per plan

Work with Intersect on establishing Research Bazaar


Run as many existing Intersect courses as possible/relevant.

Initial pilot of Melbourne Uni courses

Run existing Intersect courses.

Expanded pilot of Melbourne Uni courses

Software carpentry

Research Bazaar established, program to be maintained jointly by Intersect and eResearch team

Wonderama internal & organisational dev

Developing Wonderama as platform for the Digital Humanities and the Project For Western Sydney outreach and consulting.

Developing a consulting/business model ($$)

Google Summer of Code

PX students UWS Solar Racer

CompSci Advanced projects?

Wonderama external and outreach activities

($$) = paid gig

UWS HiTech Fest (Careers market)

iFly Downunder launch at Panthers (indoor skydiving) ($$)

CeBIT conference (SCEM to sponsor?)

Google Atmosphere ($$)


** #resbaz = Research Bazaar

Measures of success

*Capability building: Count number of figures/tables/citations/programs in publications/theses produced using workshop tools and/or programming languages.

eResearch Projects

The following table lists projects which report to the eResearch Projects Working Group committee. This table shows the broad project stage for each project over the year, a separate schedule/dashboard which will be presented to the eResearch Projects committee will show detailed targets for each.






Phase 1 finished

Discuss library hosting of Adelta

Possible Integration into Library search box for greater discoverability

HI Sandra,

Google analytics to measure use

Cr8it core app

Negotiate sustainable support offer from Intersect/AARNET

Start of trials



ANDS Major collection

Scoping complete

Project running

Project running

Project running

AAAA Data Management Projects




(Set up reporting of research-focused metrics)



IIE Structures Lab

Planning, initiation





Planning, initiation




To Be Advised

(Digital Humanities)




To Be Advised

(something sciency)




Establish “AA” data management for facilities (Acquire & Archive)






NGS (Sequencing)







MSF (MassSpec)



CBIF (Confocal)



AAAA projects: measures of success

Each AAAA data management project will be measured with a variety of metrics. Targets will be agreed with the project stakeholders both at project initiation and in the realisation phase and maintained in a separate AAAA dashboard. These metrics are designed to show not just raw use of the AAAA methodology in terms of users or data sets (both of which are gameable metrics) but to focus on the effect of the AAAA program on research performance and ‘eResearch readiness’.


Number of researchers who have been inducted/trained and have access to AAAA infrastructure


Datasets Archived in RDR


Total # of articles in UWS publications repository citing datasets in RDR (including via repository metadata)


Institute or research-cohort Data Management Plan(s) in place


Number and value of current grants which reference formal data management plans

Infrastructure Working Group

Infrastructure planning is in discussion with ITS Strategy. A technology roadmap is being produced with the ITS Roadmap Builder Tool. This will be published as a separate plan.

Intersect Engagement

The relationship between Intersect and UWS is covered by a member engagement plan (in development for 2014).

eResearch Team organisational Development






eResearch tool awareness

Team familiarity with data capture applications (eg):



“Notebook programming”


Python Notebooks


Academic authoring tools:

LaTex, Markdown, Pandoc, EPUB etc



Visual comms/ whiteboard training



Software development

eResearch tech people to attend workshop in one language*

eResearch tech people to attend workshop in one language

Team familiarity with modern programming principles and environments**


Australasian Digital Humanities (Perth)

Open Repositories (Helsinki)

Google I/O (SF)

eResearch Australasia (Melb)

Google Open Source Summit (SF)

OzViz workshop (Bris?)


  • *Certificate in Software Carpentry (Python/R)

  • **Team members to complete one MOOC or otherwise demonstrate professional development