Developing data-management practices for the future

TERN’s national ecosystem data infrastructure is playing a critical role in supporting effective data-management practices across the Australian ecosystem science community. We continue to work closely with our many stakeholders and partners to build and strengthen a coordinated national capacity for long-term data sharing and reuse.

A recent Data Management Workshop, hosted by TERN and partners at the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), has enabled further advancement towards effective data-management practices and infrastructure for the Australian research community.

Held at CSIRO’s Black Mountain Facility on 18 February, the workshop attracted more than 25 participants from across TERN, ANDS, the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) and the CSIRO.

Discussions were led by TERN Director Professor Tim Clancy and ANDS Executive Director Dr Ross Wilkinson. They covered a range of topics relevant to future data-management practices and discipline-specific issues faced by data managers in the ecosystem science community.

Several critical issues were highlighted: current practices for describing data so that they are discoverable and useable; and the levels of contextual descriptions required to ensure datasets are suitable for use in inter-disciplinary work. Another important topic was the challenges of establishing large data infrastructure, and implementing the metadata standards, metadata interchange techniques and licensing processes to support them.

The workshop also enabled the presentation of a range of relevant work from around the globe, including a number of examples highlighting the importance of data citation and affirming the contribution of ANDS and TERN to making data citable.

The workshop highlighted the commitment of ANDS and TERN to work together in building Australia’s capacity for data sharing and re-use. Participants agreed to 12 action items to guide ANDS and TERN in their continuing efforts to solve the critical data-management issues for Australia’s ecosystem science community.

For more information about the Data Management Workshop, email TERN’s Synthesis and Integration Coordinator, Dr Siddeswara Guru.

Published in TERN e-Newsletter April 2013

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