IASSIST Regional Report 2006-07
Australian National University
May 2007 AUSTRALIA
Australian Social Science Data Archives (ASSDA)
After winning a grant in 2005, ASSDA opened two new nodes, one at the University of Queensland and the other at the University of New South Wales. ASSDA has since been successful with another application allowing it to open a new node at the University of Western Australia. This grant also allows the development of two subject specific nodes. The first, AQuA, based at the University of Queensland specialises in qualitative data. Work for this node was commenced with the previous grant, however will become fully functional in 2007/08. The second is the development of the Historical Census and Colonial Data Archive that involves the digitisation of rare statistical publications and making them fully accessible on the web. In 2007 ASSDA is undertaking a pilot project to establish an Indigenous Data Archive, designed to preserve Australian Indigenous data while respecting their culture and protecting their interests.
Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Incorporated (ACSPRI)
ACSPRI hosted the first Australian Social Science Methodology Conference in December 2006. It included a stream on Data Archiving among others. The conference was very successful and it is expected to become an annual event.
The National Data Network (NDN)
Managed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the National Data Network continues to grow with several government departments adding their resources to the network. The NDN is developing software for secure authentication and data sharing and have entered into an agreement with the US Bureau of Census to share these developments.
The Social Statistics Research Group (SSRG), The University of Auckland, New Zealand, recently established (in November 2004) the New Zealand Social Statistics Network (NZSSN; http://www.nzssn.org.nz/) to assist in the development of quantitative social science research in the academic, government and private research sectors. The intent of the network is to provide a focus for both sharing research development resources and improving the accessibility of quantitative research data. These entities successfully secured funding to establish a New Zealand Social Science Data Service.
The primary aim of the project is to develop New Zealand’s research infrastructure in line with global best practice in social science data access and analysis. It will use recent IT-based developments in data archiving, data linking and networked data processing in order to create a distributed data archive with state-of-the-art cataloguing and access (as seen for example in Australia, the UK and Canada). This is complemented greatly by our close collaboration with BeSTGRID (http://www.bestgrid.org/) and KAREN (http://www.karen.net.nz/).
A second set of aims is to enable the social science community to gain improved access to current and past data series/collections in their specialist areas; to improve the speed and capacity for data cleaning, compilation and dissemination of new surveys to students, researchers and policy makers; and to provide access to relevant data from comparable international studies.
SSRG/NZSSN are working closely with Statistics New Zealand (NZ’s official statistics agency) for data access, documentation standards, training and knowledge transfer as well as new initiatives for data saving and sharing (e.g. CURF Confidentialised Unit Record File) and data access agreements via the universities’ collective NZ Vice Chancellors’ Committee, remote access to census unit record data, and methods of preserving confidentiality while integrating survey and census data).
For further information contact:
Daniel Patrick firstname.lastname@example.org
Research Programme Manager, Social Statistics Research Group, The University of Auckland
Manager, New Zealand Social Statistics Network
Private Bag 92019