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The impact of Australian research data

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Credit CSIRO

All around Australia, researchers and institutions are running innovative data projects that support research and discovery.

The achievements of projects are often recognised within the research community through awards, citations and further funding. But it can be difficult to communicate their value to a wider audience.

Where there are tangible benefits for people’s lives, it is particularly important to prove the worth of Australian research to policy makers and the public.

That’s why the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), along with many others in the sector, has been working hard to illustrate the real-life impact of data-intensive research. From mitigating climate change to preventing disease (and everything in between!), robust research data underpins innovation  and policy in all walks of Australian life.

This edition of Share is dedicated to Australian research data projects that have made a real-life difference to people and the planet. We also take a look at how that impact can be best demonstrated and evaluated.

Stories of data impact

In March 2016, ANDS launched the #dataimpact campaign to showcase the importance of Australian research data to everyday life.

As part of the campaign, ANDS asked people to submit research data projects that have led to tangible benefits in communities. This could be, for example:

  • protecting the environment
  • supporting the economy
  • influencing public policy
  • saving lives.

The response to the campaign was impressive. Stories were shared on social media, and many people got in touch with ANDS to highlight research with a strong data impact element.

A year on from the launch of the campaign, ANDS has now compiled together the best stories we received into an eBook, available to read online or download at ands.org.au/dataimpact. A few of them are reproduced in this edition of Share. A set of case study slides is also available under a CC-BY license.

Whilst the #dataimpact campaign is now ending, ANDS will continue to showcase projects that have made a real-life impact.

We know there are lots more great stories out there.

in Share newsletter