Research Data Australia has a custom search interface for research activities including grants, programs, and projects. This discovery service includes grant information from Australia's principal research funders as well as project descriptions from some institutions and agencies. These descriptions can include connections to related datasets and publications.
This search facility can be useful in a number of scenarios including:
- researchers looking for current or earlier research in areas related to their current study
- researchers wanting to extract a list of the research projects they have been involved with
- research managers wanting to build research profiles for their institution and their researchers
- funders looking at the prior research experience of applicants for new funding
Accessing the service
There is also a Research Activities API which allows machines to interrogate this same grant information. This machine interface is used by some institutional repository systems and publishing systems as a lookup and validation service for tagging research outputs with related grants.To use the related Research Activities API see the Research Activities API Documentation.
Scope of research activity descriptions in Research Data Australia
Research Data Australia aggregates research activity information supplied by multiple research funders and project descriptions supplied by universities, research institutions and agencies.
Grants and Programs
Funders may provide program funding descriptions as well as descriptions of the grants awarded via those programs. Some funders provide public access to their history of funding grants through an online search, downloads on their websites, or both. Each funder has their own format and structure for describing grants and their information may have detail that is absent in Research Data Australia.
At the bottom of the Explore Grants and Projects home page is a list of the funders who contribute grant descriptions to Research Data Australia. Click on a funder name to view information about the funder, their funding programs and information about their grant data with any caveats on usage, quality and currency. A globally unique, persistent and resolvable identifier (PURL) exists for every grant in Research Data Australia.
Currently the funders included in the service are:
- The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC): provides an extract from their grants system twice per year. This contains descriptions of all their grants awarded since 1998.
- The Australian Research Council (ARC): provides descriptions of all the grants for projects, programs, infrastructure, equipment and fellowships it has awarded since the inception of the National Capital Grants Program (NGCP) in 2001.
- The Department of the Environment: provides information related to the National Environmental Science Program (NESP) supporting six themed research hubs, along with projects to address emerging environmental research needs.
Project descriptions are contributed by research institutions, typically the institution responsible for managing the project. Institutions may also supply information about research programs which may include a number of projects and be broader in their objectives than focused studies.
Links to Publications
Institutional Repositories tag their open access versions of publications with the PURL identifier for the research grant which funded, or partially funded the work. These publication descriptions are harvested by the National Library of Australia into their Trove service to provide a central discovery service for Australian research publications. These related publications are included on the view page for the grant in Research Data Australia.
Look up Funders
A global list of research funders is maintained by the CrossRef organisation in their FundRef registry. Each funder is assigned a DOI by CrossRef. When researchers are submitting articles to journals for publication, they are asked to select from this list of names and then add the grant IDs as free text. Research Data Australia uses this same list of funder names and every Australian entry in the FundRef registry has an entry in Research Data Australia. This list of funders is available for machine lookup via our Research Activities API.
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