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Provide metadata records to Research Data Australia

The information provided here is aimed at institutions seeking to have records describing their research data outputs published in Research Data Australia. Individual researchers seeking to publish data descriptions in Research Data Australia should liaise with their institutional provider. Potential contributors should refer to the Research Data Australia collection policies for guidance on acceptable content for Research Data Australia.

For institutions, there are two major steps in the process of providing descriptions of research data collections and associated information:

  1. Creating the records, whether manually, or by processing information from another source.

  2. Transferring the records to the RDA Registry (which are then subsequently displayed in Research Data Australia).

Accessing the RDA Registry

The RDA Registry is a software application for storing and managing the collection descriptions (metadata records) provided to, and displayed, in Research Data Australia. The RDA Registry registers the description of collections; it does not store the collection itself. You retain control over access to items in the collection. Any special access considerations can be included in your collection description.

A Data Source Account for the RDA Registry allows the management of metadata records, including harvester settings, links within Research Data Australia, and direct import or export of records. This account is managed by a Data Source Administrator.

If you need access to the RDA Registry, please refer to Getting an Online Services account and How to login to Online Services for more information.

Data Source Administrator role

The Data Source Administrator is responsible for maintaining the administrative information (including contact information) held in the Data Source Account(s), and may also oversee the technical processes of providing metadata to the RDA Registry. 

Managing and maintaining the Data Source includes:

  • ensuring the Data Source profile, including harvester configuration, is correct

  • scheduling harvests for a Data Source

  • testing the harvest process as required

  • monitoring to ensure harvests have not failed.

Data Source Administrators should keep themselves informed about potential changes to the RIF-CS Schema and the implications for their institution by reading the communications from ARDC Services.

Creating records

Most institutions create records in an institutional repository or data store, ideally drawing on information from connected HR and Research Information Systems, and set up an ongoing feed of records that can be regularly harvested, capturing the latest updates. If this is not possible or desirable, records can be created manually in the RDA Registry manual interface.

The RDA Registry requires records to be in RIF-CS schema for ingest. Records can be harvested in RIF-CS, or in another metadata schema used by your institutional repository where subsequent conversion to RIF-CS has been configured. There are a number of metadata crosswalks to RIF-CS available for you to adopt or adapt.

This task of generating a RIF-CS XML document from records in an institutional repository, and validating it against the RIF-CS schema, can be made easier using the RIF-CS Java API.

To learn more about providing a record to Research Data Australia, and understanding RIF-CS, you can practice in the RDA Demonstration Environment (demo), and talk to your ARDC Outreach Officer.

To learn more about creating RIF-CS metadata records for Research Data Australia, see Create metadata for Research Data Australia in this Guide.

Transferring records

The four methods for transferring records to the RDA Registry from an institutional repository are:

  • Direct harvest

  • OAI-PMH harvest

  • CSW harvest

  • CKAN harvest

Refer to Harvester settings for more detailed instructions on implementing each of these methods.

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