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Research Data Australia Collection Description Integrity Policy

The Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) makes Australia’s research data assets more valuable for researchers, research institutions and the nation. Research Data Australia is a web-based discovery service that helps you find, access, and reuse data for research from over one hundred Australian research organisations, government agencies, and cultural institutions. Research Data Australia does not store the data itself but provide descriptions of, and links to, the data from data publishing partners and contributors.


Descriptions of data collections provided to ARDC for inclusion in Research Data Australia should be current, accurate and appropriate. Inaccurate, out-of-date or inappropriate collection description information in Research Data Australia creates a poor user experience, reduces the potential for discovery and reflects poorly on the reputation of the data provider and on ARDC as the publisher of the information.


This policy addresses issues of currency, accuracy and appropriateness of collection descriptions in Research Data Australia. It aims to ensure that invalid information is not published to Research Data Australia. This policy is not meant to cover issues of metadata quality, communication value, rich context or fitness for purpose of the content. Those issues are covered in the Research Data Australia Collection Description Quality Policy


For the purpose of this policy, the following definitions apply:

Currency: the collection description reflects the current state and availability of the collection or associated information.

Accuracy: the collection description is factually correct in description of the data as well as statement of ownership.

Appropriateness: the collection description is appropriate from a legal, moral, or ethical point of view and complies with relevant Australian legislation such as copyright, privacy, libel and any contractual obligations associated with the data.


To maintain the usefulness of Research Data Australia for researchers, the ARDC reserves the right to withdraw collection descriptions from Research Data Australia consistent with the following principles and the above definitions:

  • Contributors to Research Data Australia will maintain the currency, accuracy and appropriateness of their collection descriptions. ARDC staff and systems will encourage, support and facilitate this end.
  • Contributors are strongly encouraged to maintain systems that enable automatic updates to their Research Data Australia-contributed information whenever updates (new collections, modifications, deletions) occur in their local systems. ARDC supports a number of automated information exchange technologies to support this aim. 
  • Where a description of a data collection has been published to Research Data Australia and subsequently the data collection is no longer available, the contributor can remove the collection description, or if it is retained, it should be amended to indicate that the collection no longer exists. It is still appropriate for that collection description to appear in Research Data Australia, since it may be helpful to researchers to know that the collection once existed. 

Change history

DateChange history
05 Dec 2019Page created
05 Dec 2019v1.2 of the Policy added and references to 'ANDS' updated to reference 'ARDC'

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