Seeding the Commons Data Sharing Project Complete.

The federally funded component of the UWS Seeding the Commons data description and sharing project has been completed. A comprehensive description of the Project is available via a previous blog post. Descriptions of 21 UWS data collections are now available in Research Data Australia. Some of the collections are open access, some are available via mediated access (contact the researcher to discuss access conditions) and some are metadata (description) only. The collections are also represented in Trove, the National Library’s single search portal, and discoverable by Google, Google Scholar and other search engines. Data Collections with a DOI will be indexed in the new Thomson Reuters Data Citation Index , allowing them to be formally cited in research papers. Congratulations to all participating researchers who now have their data/data description accessible to a vast audience of international scholars including potential collaborators.

Lessons Learned

A shift in the culture of data sharing is required to ensure that data does not remain the lost output of research. Whilst some have embraced sharing, others still insist they ‘just don’t want to’ share their data. A concerted effort is required to raise the awareness of UWS researchers on the benefits of data sharing through a campaign of communication, education and engagement for all in the research data lifecycle. If you know of a data sharing success story don’t be shy, spread the word.

Data description is complex and can appear daunting until all the pieces fall into place. A cheat sheet is in development and available on request to assist. Once refined the sheet will be published.

What’s Next?

Researchers may self-submit data descriptions and/or small data sets into the UWS Research Data Catalogue. Library staff will complete the metadata, confirm the record with the submitter and make it available in Research Data Australia.

Researchers wanting to share data/descriptions but who are unsure about self-submission may contact Susan Robbins at or 9852 5458.

UWS is currently working on Cr8It (pronounced Crate-it) – a web based packaging application for research data. It will give users an organised view of their files and as much metadata as possible automatically extracted from the files. Cr8it it will let researchers identify related objects and organise them into a data ‘package’, adding more metadata and context if required, such as associating a package with a research institute, facility or experiment. Researchers will then be able to send the packages to the Research Data Catalogue and eventually push it out to a variety of other destinations, such as blogs or discipline repositories. Cr8it is currently at the proof of concept stage. To try out this service or learn more, please contact

Currently we are investigating ‘use cases’ for depositing data at various stages of the research life cycle (eg. At the inception of a research idea, when applying for grant, when it is funded etc) These are mentioned in a previous blog post.

What’s in it for Me?

The opportunity to stay ahead of the pack. Aside from the practical issues of data storage and preservation, you could increase opportunities for collaboration and the impact of your research globally.

To arrange storage space for working data, or a secure space to archive and preserve data, contact: Toby O’Hara from eResearch at or 4736 0928

To arrange for your data collection to be described and reflected in Research Data Australia (and associated locations) contact:

Susan Robbins Research Coordinator (Library) at or 9852 5458

‘Moving Forward’

A series of UWS data related webinars and workshops will soon be available to assist anyone/everyone involved in the research data lifecycle. To be informed when they are scheduled please email Susan Robbins research comic

“Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham

No Such Thing as a Dumb Question

I’m working with external collaborators – can I give them access to our Research Data Repository?

This is being investigated as a priority, but unavailable at present.

I trip over boxes of old interviews in my lounge room – can you take them, digitise them?

UWS archives is able to store these for the duration of the ethics application contact RAMS. Post ethics expiry date, the data collection will be evaluated to determine the next step.

I’m retiring and have 20 years worth of research data on floppy discs. Can I give them to you to digitise, preserve and archive?

At present we don’t offer this option, but you can self-submit them and (soon) utilise Cr8it (see above) to manage the collection. Assistance is available. Contact Toby OHara x2928

Data are the New Black: Data Sharing in the National/International Arena

A selection of data related activities occurring internationally.

CSIRO to embrace open access Hare, Julie. The Australian [Canberra, A.C.T] 11 July 2012: 31

THE CSIRO is making freely available 200,000 research papers dating back to the 1920s on its new, open-access repository. It is also creating a portal to contain most of the raw research data used by the organisation since its inception.

“It’s a massive job. We will eventually have 86 years of data in the repository,” said Jon Curran, CSIRO’s general manager of communications.

“We are anticipating this is where the world of science is heading.

“The mood is there. And we know the more visible the work the more excitement and energy that is generated.” …

GigaScience ( , an innovative new journal handling ‘big-data’ from the entire spectrum of life sciences, has now been launched by BGI

Geoscience Data Journal New Wiley open access data journal

“It is becoming increasingly important that the data which underpins key findings should be made more available to allow for the further analysis and interpretation of those results,” said Mike Davis, Vice President and Managing Director, Life Sciences Wiley. “The ability of researchers to create and collect often huge new data sets has been growing rapidly in parallel with options for their storage and retrieval in a wide range of data repositories. We are launching the Geoscience Data Journal in response to these important developments.”

Hindawi Datasets International

Publishing a Dataset Paper in Datasets International is all about the underlying raw and tabular data that the author has obtained during his experiment. Every table or image should be accompanied with a full description of how this data has been obtained, for instance, if you provide us with a graph; you should provide us with the tabular data you have used to draw this graph.

Datasets should contain detailed explanation of the methodology and materials used in conducting the experiment/observation and no final results or conclusions. Accordingly, manuscripts should be submitted along with all the relevant data.

Wikidata aims to create a free knowledge base about the world that can be read and edited by humans and machines alike. It will provide data in all the languages of the Wikimedia projects, and allow for the central access to data in a similar vein as Wikimedia Commons does for multimedia files.

Google Scholar already contains citations to datasets represented by a DOI.

An example of a data citation in a reference list

Birgisdottir, L., and Thiede, J.R.N.
Carbon and density analysis of sediment core PS1243-1 PANGAEA. doi:10.1594PANGAEA.87536.

Cited in Jourabchi, P., L’Heureux, I., Meile, C., & Cappellen, P. V. (2010). Physical and chemical steady-state compaction in deep-sea sediments: Role of mineral reactions. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 74(12), 3494-3513. Retrieved from

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Seeding the Commons Data Sharing Project Complete. by Susan Robbins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.