May 2016 National eResearch newsletter

It’s an exciting time to be in eResearch.  The draft framework developed by Rhys Francis has been submitted to the Department.  That will inform the National Research Infrastructure Roadmap developed by the Chief Scientist, due to report late this year.  The recent budget has committed the funding announced under the National Innovation and Science Agenda, providing $150m per year, indexed for the years ahead.

In this context, AeRO continues to support the eResearch community and its Members.  It is working with NeCTAR and RDS on an improved user-support framework.  Also, discussions are being held around education and training, as well as sharing information on e-infrastructure available for researchers, starting with visualisation facilities and more to come.  AeRO has also started publishing an aggregate view of job opportunities across our sector.  Keep an eye on our website and twitter feed;  suggestions for more are always welcome!

Dr Markus Buchhorn, AeRO CEO

Mapping Australia’s Environmental Data
NCI’s data and compute expertise have played an integral role in a recently launched website that provides easy access to a wide range of environmental data covering the entire country, from precipitation and river flows to tree cover and bush fire density. The data is available on the “Australia’s Environment in 2015” website through The Australian National University.


International Workshop on Science Gateways
The second Australian International Workshop on Science Gateways will take place on 10-Oct-16, as part of the eResearch Australasia conference in Melbourne.  This Workshop offers participants the opportunity to engage with other members of the Science Gateways community, to explore common issues and share successes.

A Science Gateway is a community-developed set of tools, applications, and data collections that are integrated through a tailored web-based environment.  They often leverage larger scale computing and data storage facilities that would otherwise be inaccessible to many domain scientists.  Gateways can be used to tackle common scientific goals, engage with industry, and offer resources for educating students and informing non-experts.  To continue the development of this community, this workshop offers a venue for knowledge exchange and skills development.

The call for participation for the Workshop (and the main conference) closes on 5-Jun-16.
More information is available at

Reminder: Research Data Alliance US Chair to speak at UQ on Viable Research Data Systems
Professor Francine Berman, the US Chair of the global Research Data Alliance, will deliver a seminar on building a sustainable ecosystem for data-driven research at The University of Queensland on Friday, 27 May, 11am–12pm.

She will discuss sustainability, infrastructure and data, and explore the opportunities and challenges of creating a viable ecosystem for the data on which current and future research and innovation increasingly depend.

Prof Berman’s career has involved many accomplishments and she is regarded as a leader in digital data preservation and cyber-infrastructure.

UQ’s Research Computing Centre ( is hosting Prof Berman’s UQ visit. All are welcome to attend this free seminar, and registering is not required. More info at

Have Your Say! Complete the 2016 AAF Subscriber Survey
Once again the Australian Access federation (AAF) is seeking your thoughts and feedback to assist them with planning the services they deliver into the future.

Please help them by completing the 2016 AAF Subscriber Survey ( The survey closes on Friday 3 June, 2016 at 5pm.

Feel free to pass it on to others that work closely with the AAF in your organisation.

June Tech Talk Announced:  Minting DOIs for Data
Following the success of the first Monthly Tech Talk on 6 May, a new session has been announced for Friday, 10 June in various locations around Australia.  The focus will be on minting Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for data.

The Monthly Tech Talk is an initiative of ANDS, Nectar, QCIF, Intersect, VicNode, eRSA and Pawsey. Attendees meet simultaneously in capital city hubs and connect nationwide via videoconferencing networks.

The event is for anyone who wants to know more about NCRIS facilities and the technical aspects of research data, in particular developers, data scientists, data technologists, researchers building data tools, and librarians with an interest in the technical aspects of data librarianship.

Find out more information and register at

Call for Nominations: International Board
The 2016 Nominating Committee ( is now seeking nominations for new ORCID Directors.  All ORCID members are eligible to nominate a representative. The ORCID Board is also soliciting nominations for a Researcher Director, who need not be affiliated with an ORCID member.  Nominations are due by August 1, 2016.  The slate will be announced in October, followed by an election via electronic ballot in December.  The new Directors will commence their three-year term from February next year.

For more on submitting your nomination or the election, see ORCID Board Elections – Calling for Nominations (

Tools and Resources for Digital Humanities Research
A new version of the Trove Newspaper Harvester is available.  The harvester is an open source, command-line tool that makes it easy to assemble large collections of digitised newspaper articles from Trove for further analysis.  Full documentation is available here:
A growing collection of Commonwealth Hansard is available for download.  The XML files have been harvested from the Parliament of Australia website under a CC-BY-ND-NC licence, and made available on GitHub for easy access.  Currently Hansard for the House of Representatives from 1901 to 1965 is available:

Further documentation is available here:

International Data Week is Coming, 11-17 September
Under the theme From Big Data to Open Data – Mobilizing the Data Revolution, International Data Week will bring together data scientists, researchers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, policy makers, and data stewards in Denver, USA in September.

The programme brings together the following:

SciDataCon 2016 ( – focussing on policy and the place of data in the scientific endeavour and scholarly communications; global research enterprise; innovations in data science and data stewardship; and sustainable data ecosystems.
International Data Forum – discussing the major opportunities and challenges of the data revolution, from “Big Data” to “Open Data”.
Research Data Alliance 8th Plenary meeting – to make concrete progress in technical and social areas on topics related to research data sharing and exchange.

Further details about the week are at

Show Me the Money – the Path to a sustainable Research Data Facility
The word sustainability (particularly in the scholarly communication world) is code for “money”.  And money has become quite a sticking point in the area of data management.

Funders expect that researchers make the data underpinning their research available and provide a link to this data in the paper itself.  But two barriers stand in the way:  One was considerable confusion about what actually counts as data, and the second was that sharing data on publication is not something that can be easily done as an afterthought if the data was not properly managed in the first place.

Cambridge University has responded to research funders’ requirements for data management and sharing with a concerted effort to support good data management and sharing practice through its Research Data Facility.

Read more about how Cambridge has addressed these issues at

Advanced Visualisation Facilities Available
The Australian eResearch community has access to a large and growing number of advanced visualisation facilities, hosted at various universities and other research agencies. These offer a range of capabilities including fully immersive environments, hemispherical domes and projection walls, and generally have dedicated support specialists collocated with them.  While the majority of the facilities are multidisciplinary in nature, some target specific disciplines such as engineering or biomedical science.

The list below provides a high-level link to a number of these facilities and we will add more over time.  If you are interested in accessing any of them, please contact the university or research agency directly.  There are plans to provide access to a more detailed technical list about the facilities at a later stage.


BCCVL New Features
The latest release from the BCCVL brings a whole bunch of new and improved features to the modelling world.  This includes the all-new Multi-species Distribution Modelling (MSDM) experiment, which allows users to run Species Distribution Models on hundreds or thousands of species in one experiment.  The result of an MSDM can then be fed into BCCVL’s Biodiverse Experiment to get measures of species richness, endemism and rarity in a given place or region.  This analysis helps to drive conservations efforts by identifying hotspots of biodiversity now, and into the future!

The release also improves the performance of models, provides access to new data platforms like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), makes further improvements on integrated user support, and whole lot more.  Full details on the release here  Jump on to the BCCVL and run some experiments for yourself at

CAUL/ASA Fellowships for Accessing Special University Library Collections
The Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) and the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) are pleased to announce that applications are now open for 2016 CAUL and ASA Fellowships.

CAUL and the ASA expect to award two fellowships, each with a value of $10,000, in 2016.  The fellowships are designed to showcase university libraries’ special collections by providing researchers and others with an opportunity to work on creative projects that will benefit from concentrated access to these collections.

Applicants are advised to read the information for applicants before completing the application form.

Applications open May 16 and close 14 June 2016.  See

Digital Humanities Australasia Conference, Hobart, 20-23 June
aaDH (Australasian Association for Digital Humanities) is pleased to announce that registrations for this year’s conference “Working with Complexity”, to be held in Hobart from 20 to 23-Jun-16, are now invited.


Note:  This Newsletter is based on contributions provided by members of the eResearch community, and also draws on the many news articles and newsletters published across our sector.  The Newsletter will be published monthly, on about the 16th of each month.  Please send any contributions (no more than 150 words, plus a link) or pointers to any other relevant articles or newsletters to  Archives of these Newsletters are held at
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