ADA Collection Policy
- 1. ADA Collection Policy Criteria Assessment
This page describes the Collection Policy for the Australian Data Archive (ADA). The policy aims to provide both staff and potential depositors with general guidance regarding the types of data that the ADA will accept for curation, preservation and subsequent dissemination through Dataverse.
The ADA provides a national service for the collection and preservation of digital research data; primarily in the area of Social Science (Social, Political and Economic affairs), disseminating this data for secondary analysis by academic researchers and other users. This remit also encompasses research in the Medical, Environmental and Human Science disciplines, covering a large variety of research fields. Specific Longitudinal Studies are also curated by the ADA, ensuring that consistency of rigour is applied to these works throughout their lifecycle.
The ADA provides services to a wide variety of public, commercial and academic users in the university, government and other sectors. The archives holdings naturally reflecting the designated community. The most common being the academic cohort, consisting of students and academic researchers.
Specialist services can be provided within specific subject areas, including Indigenous studies, electoral behaviour, criminology and some humanities disciplines. This extends to specific data types, including quantitative, qualitative, longitudinal, time series and panel data, and historical statistics. For further information on the services available it is recommended that the ADA be contacted to discuss the requirements in advance.
To support this varied community the ADA caters for a number of common data formats for both Quantitative and Qualitative data that are typically requested by the community. The formats are split into preferred and other acceptable formats, although the ADA continue to add to this list as new formats become available.
Future development will also see a specific Business and Economics Data Archive for the collection, preservation and dissemination of Australian business and economics data.
Every set of data that is submitted to the ADA is different and will therefore be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes an interesting survey with aggregate data may be more attractive and valuable in terms of secondary use than a data rich respondent level survey in a subject already well researched, thus the guidelines below are not exhaustive. However, for guidance, the ADA focuses its acquisition effort on the following types of data in an approximate order of priority:
- A. Longitudinal Social Science studies that already form part of the collection and require continued curation by ADA staff for continuity of outputs.
- B. Social Science, digital subject/respondent-level data from surveys and polls etc…, in an ADA preferred format type offering the maximum potential for secondary analysis.
- C. Social Science, digital data from other sources, in an ADA preferred format type, offering the maximum potential for secondary analysis.
- D. Social Science, digital subject/respondent-level data from surveys and polls etc…, in a non-ADA preferred format type but offering some potential for secondary analysis.
- E. Social Science, digital data from other sources, in a non-ADA preferred format type but offering some potential for secondary analysis.
- F. Non-Social Science, digital subject/respondent-level data from surveys and polls, in an ADA preferred format type offering the maximum potential for secondary analysis.
- G. Non-Social Science, digital subject/respondent-level data from surveys and polls etc…, in a non-ADA preferred format type but offering some potential for secondary analysis.
The ADA Dataverse Catalogue can be found at [https://dataverse.ada.edu.au/]. Here you will be able to review the many holdings via the ADA Dataverse PRODUCE site.
Submissions must be of current value or of potential historical interest to the ADA. The subject matter being in either the Social, Political or Economic areas, and their many affiliated research fields. The ADA will also accept full project data and not just the data associated with a publication release, which is often only a small subset of the actual data available.
Secondary Analysis Potential
Submissions must have the potential for secondary analysis to be conducted, using the digital data files and their supporting materiel. There may be potential for online analysis of some submissions in the future. Submissions do not need to be made publicly available (Open Data), noting that the majority of submissions will be accessed through the Dataverse application under tightly controlled access conditions, and in some cases are only accessible via the ADA Secure Room.
The Sample Population not only assists the ADA in determining if the data fits within the collection policy but also provides an indication as to the processing efforts and therefore time that staff may need to devote to any data curation activity. Collections are typically selected in the following descending order of priority:
- 1. Australian National population or representative samples of the population
- 2. Australian State or Territory population or representative samples of the population
- 3. Australian Regional population or representative samples of their population
- 4. Population data or samples of other countries whose data is already held within the ADA (e.g. New Zealand, Afghanistan and Indonesia)
- 5. Population data or samples of other countries whose data is not already held within the ADA
The following information will typically be required to describe and support the materiel that is submitted for archiving with the ADA:
- 1. Mandatory and Routine Metadata for the accurate description of the research, project, personnel, ethics and funding.
- 2. Social Science specific Metadata for the accurate description of the research (where applicable).
- 3. Geospatial Metadata for the accurate description of the research coverage (where applicable).
- 4. Supporting Documentation that is required to help describe or understand the data.
Material that will not be archived
The ADA will only accept digital material. There are no other firm rules regarding the material that won’t be accepted by the ADA for preservation and dissemination, however submissions that contain explicit or offensive material and those that offer no potential for secondary analysis will not be considered favourably. In addition, submissions that pose significant risk of re-identification may also be rejected where the Data Owner is unwilling to apply appropriate data or other protections as recommended by ADA staff. Finally, in the event that the ADA determine that the material is not suitable for archiving, it will endeavour to provide the Data Owner with other potential archives that are more suited to the subject matter. You can also search for other repositories in a more appropriate subject using the Re3data website.