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There could be various reasons why you cannot access ARDC Online Services (RDA Registry, DOI, Handle) such as:

You are trying to login using local credentials

If you have previously been using the ARDC Demo environment during a training course or the Test environment for a UAT, you will have been given a built-in account. Your built-in credential is not available to users in the PRODUCTION environment. When you are in the 'AAF Rapid Connect'    tab of the RDA Registry login screen, you are expected to login using your AAF account.

Please refer to How to login to Online Services for detailed instructions.

You do not have a valid username and password from the AAF

Access to these ARDC online services is via a username and password that are valid within the Australian Access Federation (AAF). If you are unfamiliar with the AAF there is an excellent video animation explaining how this works at

Please refer to How to obtain an AAF account for more information or send a mail to [email protected]

ARDC Partner organisations that are not members of AAF have the option to obtain an ARDC-sponsored AAF Virtual Home Organisation (VHO) account.

Please email [email protected]to find out if you are eligible or to learn how.

ARDC does not have access to reset passwords belonging to your organisation's IdP. You will need to contact your IT Helpdesk or Support Desk to ask for a password reset.

If you have been given an ARDC-sponsored Virtual Home Organisation (VHO) account,  go to AAF's AAF Virtual Home - My Account page. There are options for you to recover your lost password or even your username.

For more information please send a mail to [email protected].

No. We strongly discourage sharing of login credentials especially when using your Australian Access Federation (AAF) account. You surely do not want your colleague have access to all your other personal and confidential systems!

It is important to note that an account should only be used by the individual who owns it.

The only possible reason, other than a bug in our system, where access to a data source could have been removed is when there is a change in your AAF account or credentials. Please let ARDC know if you could not access your data sources and we will help sort out the issue with your account.

As a proactive measure, the ARDC system notifies ARDC services when a new, unregistered or non-identical (e.g different name, new identifier) user has logged on to the RDA Registry. This triggers the validation of account holder's authority to access the system and ARDC Services edits the  account based on an existing access or a new request (for a new user).

If you still have issues, please contact [email protected].

If your organisation is a new ARDC partner or client, and before you request access to the ARDC Online Services production environment, we recommend that you first discuss the process with your ARDC Outreach Officer. They should be able to guide and assist you in setting up your organisation's data  source account and the new users in our system. You may also be advised to have access to our Demo environment.

If your organisation's data source account already exists, and you are just being added as a new DSA, simply login to the RDA Registry and notify ARDC services that you need DSA access to your organisation's data sources. Don't forget to copy your ARDC Outreach Officer and the current DSA  in your email. The complete information on how to get access to ARDC Online services is available here Getting an Online Services account.

For more information, please email [email protected]

No. The original Provider Agreement is binding on ARDC and your organisation unless one or the other party gives notice of termination of that agreement in writing. Changes to or addition of personnel does not necessitate a new Agreement.

You need to contact your ARDC Outreach Officer to let them know that you are moving on. When a replacement is in situ, we will need to get them to inform us via  [email protected] when they have logged in to either the Production or the Demo system (or both) so that we can set them up in the with proper access and add their emails to our mailing lists.

Access to ARDC Online Services is provided to individual users with valid AAF account and we discourage the use of functional (shared) data source administrator account. Individual access ensures accountability and at the same time, supports better account management on the part of both ARDC and the  users (users don't have to manage multiple account logins).

We also discourage the creation of built-in functional account for this purpose. However, we look at a possibility of using a built-in account as necessary, such as for urgent creation or modification of a record in the RDA Registry or as a work-around for management of a handle previously minted through  Identify My Data service.

For any issue or concern, please email [email protected]

RDA Registry

If you manually entered the record into the Registry that you now want to delete, follow these steps: 

  1. Login to ARDC Online Services ( using your AAF username and password. Search for the record you want to delete. To do this, do either of the following:
    • Go to 'My Data' > 'Manage My Data Sources' > {select the data source} > 'Manage Records'. Look for the record you want to delete.

Manage Records will only show the latest 25 records that you have added to the Registry.  If the record you want to delete is not there, use option "b" below or click 'More' down the bottom of the table.  Also, if you have just recently added the record you want to delete, you may not see it right away on the Manage My Records screen.

    • In the 'Manage Records' screen, add a keyword in the 'Search' box. Use a filter to optimise your search result. Find the record you want to delete.
  1. Click on the record once. Click on the 'More' > 'Delete record'
  2. Open the record (double-click). At the bottom of the 'Registry Metadata' section, click on 'Delete record'.

NOTE:  You will only have authorisation to delete records for which you are the Data Source Administrator.
HINT: To select multiple records, hold the 'Ctrl' key while selecting records to be deleted.

If the record was harvested into the Registry , then you will need to remove or edit the record from the harvest point at your institution. If you just delete the record from the registry, next time ARDC harvests your records the record will appear in the Registry again.

You can find your draft record using the 'Manage Records' menu option, provided you have not deleted the record. Unfortunately, if you have deleted your Draft record, we have no way of recovering it for you. This is why we ask you first to confirm the deletion of the record when you hit the "Delete"  icon.

The data source history tool accessible via 'view Deleted records' icon on your Manage Records screen can only recover deleted Published records.

Remember: Draft records are not searchable using the Research Data Australia search screens.

No. As a policy, ARDC does not alter or tamper with the data provided to us. Whatever information was provided through the harvester into the RDA Registry, it will be the exact data that will be displayed in Research Data Australia.

When adding records manually through our Add Records screen, we strip spaces for elements where a trailing or leading space is not expected (i.e. key). In addition, validation checks are done for those required fields as well to make sure no element is empty when saved. These checks and validations  are not done on harvested records.

No. RDA Registry will automatically assign 'originating source' as: "".

An option for you is to export your RIF-CS XML from the RDA Registry and modify it, then harvest the modified data from a public URL or copy and paste the XML to your data source. See ARDC Content Providers Guide.

Yes. An auto-generated Contributor Home Page is available for all RDA contributors. The default page links to all collections, parties, activities and services contributed by that organisation, provided that these records share the same group attribute. If you are the DSA of your organisation, you can embellish or enrich your Contributor Home Page.

To learn more about Contributor Home Page, please read the Contributor Page Help Document.

Only contributors with a logo on their Contributor Page will home pages will look as they do now in Research Data Australia. However, clicking on the contributor's name will take you to their home page instead of to a search result page (as is currently the case).

As the Contributor Home Page is a public web document representing your organisation, ARDC advises that you should use only approved text and consult appropriate authorities within your organisation.

When an institution opts to have a Contributor Home Page, the Data Source Administrator will be prompted to seek approval for any content added to this page from the appropriate authorised person in the institution.

 For the majority of our contributors, this can take no time at all. Our WYSIWYG Contributor CMS is easy to use (with the proviso that you have sought and obtained approval for the content of your page from your institution - see "Who approves the Contributor Home Page content" above).

RDA Portal

A Theme page is a page on Research Data Australia that brings together content across Research Data Australia around a particular subject and provide an alternative path to discovery of data through thematic browsing.

To browse or access the available themes in RDA, go to

Research data descriptions available on Research Data Australia are owned and managed by the contributor. Researchers can access or download the data from the provider's repository or database; or by using a supported tool, for as long as access is open to everyone. In some cases, where direct access is not available, access to the data can be done via registration or via a mediated access or data may even be available offline. All these restrictions or conditions can be found in the Access section of the record view page.

If you are in doubt, you can always contact the organisation's or record's contact if available or you can simply send an email to [email protected] and we will assist you.

To make your record available in Research Data Australia, we do offer two options:

  • Publish your collection through your institution (ARDC have an existing engagement with an institution). If the dataset you wish to publish is an output of the work you have done for your institution, then, you may want to collaborate with your data source admin and publish your dataset though the organisation's data source. In this case we can then give you the name and contact details of your organisation's contact person so that you can interact with him/her directly.
  • Directly publish a collection as an independent researcher.We currently do not have facility that allows researchers to publish their individual research collection directly to RDA. We can however assist users who may not have any other option in publishing their collection description. As a researcher, you need to have your AAF access ready and then contact [email protected] so that we can walk you through the process.

The records available in Research Data Australia are displayed based on how they are sent to us by the providers. ARDC is not responsible for the curation of the records that exist in RDA. If a record contains very limited information, someone who wants to know more can send a request directly to the  provider or the data manager. Contact information is available at the Access section of the record's view page.

We provide best practice guidelines for providing metadata to ARDC and also encourage providers to improve the quality of records available in RDA, however, our rules are not as restrictive except for a number of required elements that must be available before we can publish a record in RDA.

We welcome any feedback, suggestion or comment from our users. Please email [email protected].

A relatedObject will be displayed in RDA preview  if the status of that relatedObject is the same or higher than the record that it relates to (the record being viewed). So, for each status, the following relationships will be displayed in preview.

  • Draft record - Draft relatedObjects
  • Approved record - Draft and Approved relatedObjects
  • Published record - Draft, Approved and Published relatedObjects

Once a record is published in RDA, only published relatedObjects will be displayed in RDA.

  • GET Harvester - A single, one-off harvest. In internet terms, it is a simple HTTP GET. Combined with the Harvest Frequency option on your Harvester Settings, you can schedule a series of 'Direct' harvests at a set frequency, say weekly.
  • OAI-PMH Harvester - The OAI-PMH protocol allows fast, bulk harvests and includes features like resumption tokens and exception reporting. To use this option data providers need to have OAI-PMH capability. Most repository software includes an OAI-PMH data provider. Free, open-source OAI-PMH solutions are also available. More information on implementing an OAI-PMH data provider is available.
  • CKAN Harvester (custom method) - Harvester connects to CKAN API and downloads JSON in format specified in the Provider Type.
  • CSW Harvester (custom method) - Harvester connects to Catalogue Service for the Web (OGC CSW) implementation and downloads XML in format specified in the Provider Type.

Learn more about the data source harvest configuration

There could be various reasons why records are not properly harvested by the ARDC Harvester. Often, it is not a problem with the Harvester but minor issues with the XML or with the harvest settings in your Data Source account. The following are the most common issues when experiencing this problem:

The Harvester uses the earliestDatestamp to check which records need to be harvested and added to the Registry. You have to make sure that this date is set to a date earlier than your records dates .

Quick Check:

Go to an internet address bar in your browser and then append "?verb=Identify" to your harvest URI. For example:

You will see information similar to this:

<OAI-PMH xsi:schemaLocation="">
<request verb="Identify"></request>
<adminEmail>[email protected]</adminEmail>

NOTE: For more information on the use of OAI-PMH verbs, please visit this link-> OAI-PMH Metadata Harvesting

Double-check the date/time that you have set the harvester to run. Does it have a 'Z' at the end? Z is for Zulu time (also known as GMT). AEST is 10 hours ahead of Zulu time. It is probable that the date/time you have set for harvest has not yet been reached.

ARDC is investigating ways to ensure that you can set your harvest time in your local time, for a future release of ARDC software.

For more information, please send an email to [email protected].

When you schedule a harvest, the harvester checks for all the records from your ealiestDatestamp (see item a above) until now or the current time when the harvest is scheduled to run.

If the datestamp of the record is set to the future, then, the harvester thinks that no record is available. Similar to the scheduled harvest time in item d above, please review your record and correct the datestamp or schedule your harvest to run at a time later than the record's datestamp.

Quick check: 

Go to an internet address bar in your browser and then append "[email protected]=rif" to your harvest URI. For example:

You will see information similar to this:

<OAI-PMH xsi:schemaLocation="">
<request verb="ListRecords" metadataPrefix="rif"></request>

 Check the configuration of your OAI-PMH implementation to make sure that your resumption token does not expire before harvest completion.

The following are some of the common problems with the Data Source URI:

  • missing "http://" in the URI field of the Data Source account
  • the URI is inaccessible from the internet.
  • the URI, although accessible from the internet, requires authentication

If any of the above did not solve your problem, please send an email to [email protected].

The RDA Registry is capable of harvesting content that is not RIF-CS XML, however, an XSLT that generates a RIF-CS XML representation of the retrieved content must be made available for the ARDC Harvester.   The absence of a valid XSLT will result to a harvest error.

To understand how this works, visit the Data source harvest configuration page, particularly the section 'Configuring a Provider Type other than RIF-CS'.

To initiate an instantaneous harvest, do the following:

  1. Login to the RDA Registry
  2. Go to your data source dashboard
  3. Clicl the 'Import from Harvester' button

Your scheduled harvest will be cancelled and an immediate harvest will be initiated. Based on a defined frequency, a new recurring harvest will be scheduled after the completion of the harvest. For any issue or concern, please email [email protected].

These are two of the common reasons why your feed may not ingest the complete records to the RDA Registry:

  • Incorrect harvester settings

If you are using an OAI provider, you should make sure that the correct parameters in the Harvester Settings of your data source account is set correctly. Make sure that the Harvest Method is set to 'OAI-PMH Harvester' and the URI points to the base OAI URL. We have seen cases wherein institutions try to use 'GET Harvester' Harvest Method and the URI is set to something like 'http://<base URL>?verb=ListRecords&MetadataPrefix=rif.

When you try to use '?verb=ListRecords&metadataPrefix=rif', it will only harvest the first set of records since OAI harvest rely on the resumption token to continue harvesting the rest of the records. For instance, if your OAI resumption token is set to harvest 100 records at a time but you have a total of 500 in your feed, then the harvester will only harvest the first 100.

  • A record already exists in another data source

If your institution has more than one data source or if your institution also feeds records to other providers, there is a possibility that the record(s) in your feed may have already been published in Research Data Australia. Check the Harvester log in your data source Dashboard to find out which record(s) already exist in other data source(s).

If you need assistance, please email [email protected].

There are many reasons why a harvest may be stalled. This does not mean that the RDA Registry harvester or importer is down or not functioning.

Here is one way to re-start the harvest:

If the above didn't work, please send an email to [email protected].

ARDC has committed to restrict structural updates of RIF-CS to a single update each year. Additions to the vocabulary can happen at any time. This is because each structural change imposes a cost on data providers.

In 2011, a governance committee known as the RIF-CS Advisory Board (RAB) was formed to provide an opportunity for interested stakeholders to influence changes to the RIF-CS Schema. Changes to the RIF-CS Schema that have been endorsed by the RIF-CS Advisory Board go through the ARDC Change Management Process.  In 2020, the RAB became inactive and changes to the schema are now approved via the ARDC's Change Managemeent  process.

For the latest list of RIF-CS changes, visit the RIF-CS Schema Updates page.

The vocabulary list (RIF-CS Controlled Vocabulary) for use in RDA is not closed. Rather, you can choose to use your own types if none of those in the vocabulary fits your data. These are called 'user-defined types' and are accepted by the system without affecting your record.

However, because consistency in types enables some deep search techniques and in some cases, enriched display in Research Data Australia, it is good practice to use the existing types where possible.

If you think your user-defined vocabulary would be useful for others and should be included in the ARDC vocabulary list, please email [email protected]. Your suggestion will be considered by the RIF-CS Advisory Board (RAB) as part of the ARDC Change Management process.

All RIF-CS related changes are reviewed by the RIF-CS Advisory Board (RAB). If you have any recommended change, please email it [email protected] using the RAB change request template.

ARDC will review your request  and will contact you for additional information, if we need it. We may also ask you to use the standard RIF-CS change template for submission to the RAB.

The 'Cited by' count in a record view page is displayed only for records that are harvested from RDA to Data Citation Index on the Web of Science.

This harvest method is an opt-in service provided by ARDC to existing RDA contributors and the process to subscribe to this service is described here. At a minimum, you:

  • must be able to provide minimum required metadata required to validate against the DCI schema
  • should describe data objects held in repositories under the control of the organisation or data provider

As part of the process, you will get access to the DCI service via login at no cost (but provides access to your records only and is not the same as full subscription access).

Yes, please visit the RDA Developers page for information how to download, install and use ARDC Software.

For any assistance, please email [email protected].

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