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Dr Ron Sandland, ANDS’ Steering Committee Chair

Ron SandlandResearch data is a critically important asset for Australia, relating to all aspects of the research process, from designing experiments and recording the results through to the modern tsunami to which data capture technology (sensors, devices like the synchrotron and others) has given rise.

Furthermore, the ability of researchers to capture the benefits of this technology is leading a revolution in research productivity and global collaboration.

Traditionally researchers have tended to hold their data somewhat closely, seeing it as their asset in an increasingly competitive international research community. However, the public investment in research data infrastructure that has occurred over the last decade has brought with it the expectation that data captured through publicly funded facilities should be shared and available to collaborators everywhere.

The changes in culture and the policies of research funders required to achieve this change in thinking are complex. NCRIS capabilities like ANDS have focused their investments on institutions, seeking to lift their capacity to effectively manage research data. Over the past decade these investments have significantly lifted institutional capability and greatly added to the value of research data.

The recent announcement of the continuation of NCRIS funding will see Australia’s research data capabilities working more closely together to create reliable repositories of interoperable data and data tools.

The future of research is all about high-value research data and its creative analysis and interpretation.