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Role of National and Institutional Data in Research

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Data Analysis
Wordcount: 2326 words Published: 18th May 2020

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The Australian National Data Service (ANDS) was established in 2009 and the main responsibility is to add value to research Data national wide in Australia (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). This paper provides an overview of national research data management in Australia based on the reflection of ” the International journal of digital curation” which was published by David Groenewegen and Andrew Treloar. Few main challenges the national data management services providers are facing were also mentioned in this paper.

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The article provides a brief introduction of ANDS at the beginning, and the authors believe ANDS plays an important role in adding value to research data by managing, bridging, enabling searching and encouraging the multiple uses of data (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). ANDS makes the research more accountable and efficient, and Australia’s research data become a national resource (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). The authors also discuss the transforming of ANDS from a funded project to the approach which provides professional and advice services (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). This change makes ANDS playing a role as the connection for the most current advice, infrastructure, tools and services with the local partners and help them to implement what they required (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). In the second part of the article, the authors also mentioned that ANDS is on the transition from funded projects to engage with institutional and providing advice (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). ANDS provides the services including planning, guidance in software and policy area (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). Institutions and partners can implement the technology and tools with the help of ANDS(Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). As a result, ANDS has started to increase in the level of research, data support resourcing and relevant IT infrastructure such as storage and support for metadata(Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). With substantially funding, ANDS can hire more staff to work on data management works and make an improvement to the whole systems(Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). Particular areas in software development centers, data management principles and eReasher support attract investments(Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). On the third part of the article, the author discusses the trending of research data management in Australia (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). After gathering all of the resources, tools and services, ANDS can work on broader research support. Institutions and researchers are expecting a higher level of eRearch support service and well developed IT infrastructure (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). According to the authors, there is an increasing demand for internal support and research data management service (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). At the final part of the article, the authors believe that data sharing will benefit the academic community and other industry, and few good examples were provided to support the idea (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). 

Review objectives 

There are two main study objectives of the article. Firstly, the authors investigate ANDS as the main study objects from the role ANDS plays in national data management to ANDS’s contributions to the academic community (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). The second study object is the current situation and perspective of Australian research data sharing. The authors provide examples of the positive influence of data sharing and the institution’s contributions (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). 


ANDS ‘S role 

ANDS has been received positive outcomes from data reusing and the authors provide examples of Data sharing in Australia (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). To making research data more easy to publish, search and reuse in Australia, The commonwealth Government-funded ANDS(The Australian National Data Service) (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). According to the authors, the role of ANDS is far more than dealing with research data, ANDS’s work is focused on making the research sector valuable ( Burton, Groenewegen, Love, Treloar & Wilkinson, 2012).

Trending of research data sharing and reusing in Australia 

The authors present an overview of Australian research data management, especially explain how national data service relate to local and global institutions and university. 

Data has become more open access as the commonwealth in Australia because of the initiatives that cross public sector, the research sector and innovation sector( Burton, Groenewegen, Love, Treloar & Wilkinson, 2012). The main reason for this change is due to the new tools and services. Areas like ‘metadata stores’, ‘data storage facilities’ and ‘eResearch Support’ attracted new investments which provide broader support for research works and also make data widely available. (Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013).

Moreover, by following the trending of data has become more available, researchers are finding more potential opportunity on data and are increasingly exploring new services and tools to better manage and reuse the data(Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). The researchers also focus on making most of the services be available in the Cloud. The demanding of the data management service is increasing as the data size which means that the old way of relocating data impracticable(Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). With more confidence in the current data management tools and services, organizations and institutions are more willing to make their data available to the public. The Australian Bureauu of Statistics (www.abs.gov.au) has made its core data available for individuals who hold a Creative Commons license( Burton, Groenewegen, Love, Treloar & Wilkinson, 2012).

Critical analysis and reflection 

 In the article, the authors strongly believe data sharing and reusing can benefit the academic community and the public in many ways. Few successful data sharing cases were mentioned in the article and the authors emphatic the positive effect of good data sharing and management. Data sharing certainly provides potential opportunities for researchers and institutions to strengthen their influence. However, the complexity of research data management also brings about challenges and risks(Latham, 2017). The challenges and risks of data sharing may be underestimated by the authors and two main challenges will be discussed as follows. 


The potential value of data curation 

Data management can be costly which means any organization or government running national data management service should make sure the project profitable. In the article, the authors state that ANDS is transforming from a funded project to providing expert services to institutions(Groenewegen & Treloar, 2013). However, the authors didn’t give information about how ANDS achieve its goal to make a profit in the future. 

There is great potential for research data project to be self- profitable. According to another research, the value of public research data resource in Australia is worth at least $1.9 billion to $6 billion annually ( Houghton & Gruen, 2014). The value of research data curation can be worth from $1.8 billion to $5.5 billion annually which means there are around $1.4 billion to $4.9 billion value has not been realized yet a year( Houghton & Gruen, 2014). Therefore, research data should aim to realize as much of this unrealized value as practicable ( Houghton & Gruen, 2014).

How to encourage researchers to reuse data(sharing and using external data)

In the article, The authors state that projects like ANDS aim to help the researcher to extend the potential opportunity to make contributions to the academic community. Nonetheless, the authors didn’t provide information about the data-sharing service from the researcher’s perspective. As the end-users of the research data service, researchers are the essential parts of the whole data management system. It is important to investigate how to encourage researchers to share data online and reuse the data from external resources. 

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Digital data sharing services provide researchers and institutions great financial returns and offer a good way to manage and reuse data (Wallis, Rolando & Borgman, 2013). However, only 46% of researchers open their research data partly to be available digitally and less than 6% of researchers willing to make all of the research data available online. although the data sharing support technology has been well developed(Wallis, Rolando & Borgman, 2013). This finding presents the complexities of research data sharing and reusing(Wallis, Rolando & Borgman, 2013). According to Wallis, Rolando and Borgman, there are a few main reasons for researchers not willing to share research data online (Wallis, Rolando & Borgman, 2013). The major reason is the lack of related infrastructure (Wallis, Rolando & Borgman, 2013). The main concerns for most researchers include publishing rights, difficulty in building trust for data sharing (Wallis, Rolando & Borgman, 2013). Above findings shows that data sharing based on the peer-to-peer relationship in the academic community(Wallis, Rolando & Borgman, 2013). The motivation of sharing data to others always base on the full trust of another researcher. The mutual trust between researchers ensures the data will not be misused(Wallis, Rolando & Borgman, 2013). Therefore, for research data service project, building trust with researchers and institutions are essential in the researcher’s data collection method. Future study should also focus on investigating the decision-making process of researchers in sharing data as the study objects to analysis the data collection methods. 

According to Wallis, Rolando and Borgman, data sharing can be seen as a demand-driven problem which means the demand for data sharing lead the whole process (Wallis, Rolando & Borgman, 2013). The whole data reuse process can be divided into three parts which are: Data sharing, reusing external data, and academic infrastructure to assistance the long tail of research (Wallis, Rolando & Borgman, 2013). Thus, to keep attract researchers to use data from external resource will be keeping provide high-quality public data Wallis, Rolando & Borgman, 2013). Therefore, it is a big challenge for the research data services provider to collect, curation huge database which covers big numbers of users Wallis, Rolando & Borgman, 2013). 



David Groenewegen and Andrew Treloar give a clear explanation of ANDS and its role to the academic community. It is no doubt that national research data services will benefit the academic community and other industries in different ways.  However, there are challenges the research data management service may deal now or shortly. Firstly, it is expensive to maintain daily internal operation and infrastructures. Thus, the research data management service provider needs to find a way to make the project profitable. Secondly, building a reusable partnership with institutions and researchers is essential to developing a stable data management service network. These challenges may require the research data management service provider to think from a business perspective instead of only focus on the technology. Moreover, the long-tail effect of online research data sharing should also be considered. The research data management service provider should find a way to ensure the research data useful and not be misused to the unknow future users. 




  • Burton, A., Groenewegen, D., Love, C., Treloar, A., & Wilkinson, R. (2012). Making research data available in Australia. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 27(3), 40-43.
  • Groenewegen, D., & Treloar, A. E. (2013). Adding Value by Taking a National and Institutional Approach to Research Data: The ANDS Experience. IJDC8(2), 89-98.
  • Houghton, J. W., & Gruen, N. (2014). Open research data: Report to the Australian National Data Service (ANDS).
  • Latham, B. (2017). Research data management: Defining roles, prioritizing services, and enumerating challenges. The Journal of Academic Librarianship3(43), 263-265.
  • Wallis, J. C., Rolando, E., & Borgman, C. L. (2013). If we share data, will anyone use them? Data sharing and reuse in the long tail of science and technology. PloS one8(7), e67332.


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