10 Sports Science Data Things: Thing 3

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An exploration of various data repositories and portals. Learn about the enormous amount of datasets that other researchers are making freely available for use.

Thing 3: Data discovery (subject repositories)

Repositories enable discovery of data by publishing data descriptions ("metadata") about the data they hold. They may provide access to the data itself (open data), but can also just provide a description of the data (metadata). Openly accessible data can generally be reused by other researchers and can provide a rich source of additional data for a research project.

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How to search Research Data Australia

Evaluating data repositories

What makes a "good" data repository?  There is much debate about trusted repositories and other ways of evaluating repositories - including data repositories.

Have a look at one or both of the resources below:

Do the data repositories you found meet the standards in these checklists?

Finding data repositories

What data repositories exist and how else are Australian researchers sharing their data?

1. re3data is a data portal that lists 1,850 research data repositories including those from Australia.

a. Spend a few minutes exploring re3data:

b. Run a search for 'epidemiology' and filter by country > how many Australian databases are there? Go back and filter by data access and have a look at the data other researchers are making available.

c. Click on Browse > Browse by subject > click on “Medicine”

c. Explore the range of repositories listed under "Public Health, Health Services Research, Social Medicine" or "Physiology". Can you find one relevant to your research?

d. Click on Browse > By Country > click on Australia in the map

e. There are a surprising number of data repositories listed for Australia.   Does this present all the research data repositories Australia has to offer? Is there anything missing?

Consider: one idea on how discovery of Australia's research data repositories, and the data records they contain, could be improved.

Exploring data repositories

Data portals or aggregators draw together research data records from a number of repositories eg. Research Data Australia (RDA) aggregates records from over 100 Australian research repositories.

  • RDA Australia

1. Click on the following RDA record from Victoria University:

2. Have a close look at the record and check the access details (often data will have restricted access). Spend a few minutes exploring RDA:

a.Try browsing by subjects (or searching on a topic of interest)

b. See which institutions contribute data descriptions records to RDA.

c. Explore a record or two in depth.