Research Datasets

The Library assists Western's researchers in the creation of comprehensive descriptive records for research datasets.

Research datasets are classified as archival when they represent a 'completed' research output. The dataset might be published as a supplement to a journal article or made available as a standalone resource for further research; the key point is that the data can be understood as a discrete, unchanging output.

Publishing Datasets and Dataset Descriptions

To publish your dataset, first go to the Create archival Data Record option in ResearchDirect and create a description of your dataset.

If you plan to provide open access to the data itself, contact the IT Service Desk to request an accessible, persistent URL to where your data is stored.

Once you've finished, select the Submit for Publication option to send the record to Library staff for review before it's included in ResearchDirect.

If you need further assistance, the Support for research data management forms are available in WesternNow for both staff researchers and HDR students.

Research datasets should incorporate the principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability and reusability. These principles (also known as FAIR) ensure the datasets' value for future researchers.

The FAIR principles are designed to:

  • support knowledge discovery and innovation both by humans and machines
  • support data and knowledge integration
  • promote sharing and reuse of data
  • be applied across multiple disciplines and help data and metadata to be 'machine readable'
  • support new discoveries through the harvest and analysis of multiple datasets and outputs.

The Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) provides guidelines and workflows to provide clarity on how ARDC outputs can be made FAIR or valid cases for exception.

Archival data records are stored in ResearchDirect and include details about the format, storage, and context of the data files.

In accordance with the University’s Open Access to Research Policy, descriptions are published to the Research Data Australia national discovery portal wherever possible.