Executive summary

Data is crucial to most research, and, increasingly, research is data-intensive. New discoveries are being made by looking for data patterns from colliders and telescopes. A huge number of researchers have shared genetic data in an unprecedented way to map the human genome, leading to breakthroughs that are affecting all of our lives. The effective use, reuse, and sharing of research data is rapidly becoming the key to many fields of research, and Australia is now extremely well placed to reap the rewards of excellent research data and research data infrastructure.

These research data and data infrastructures are being put in place through the investments made by the Australian Government. As a result, Australian researchers increasingly have access to excellent research data, institutional infrastructure to help them manage that data, national infrastructure to help them publish, store, discover, and use this data, and an influence on international data standards through the Research Data Alliance.

This improved research data infrastructure provides benefits across the whole research system:

  • Researchers have access to the best data and the best partners to conduct the best research
  • Data creators and collectors can create more valuable data
  • Research institutions more effectively leverage their research data assets
  • Research funders enjoy a greater return on investment from well managed and reused data

As a result, Australia has well organised data assets that enable its big challenges to be addressed more effectively.

Over the last 5 years ANDS has worked across the whole sector in partnership with major research organisations and NCRIS facilities. Significant progress has been made in enabling improved data management, connectivity, discoverability, and usability by:

  • Establishing the Australian Research Data Commons, a network of shared data resources
  • Populating the Australian Research Data Commons with 100,000 research data collections
  • Dramatically improving institutional research data management capacity
  • Helping to establish institutional research data infrastructure
  • Co-leading the establishment of the Research Data Alliance, improving international data exchange

This has meant that Australian researchers, research institutions and the nation are at the forefront of the opportunities inherent in global research data intensive activity.

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