Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Data Archive


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and issues relating to them continue to attract much study. But frequently, often due to ethical concerns intrinsic to small population research compounded by the particular aspects relating to indigenous peoples, datasets are not made available for secondary analysis. It is important to collect and preserve these fragmented research resources and to make them available for further research, under appropriate protocols, so as to reduce the response burden on Australian Indigenous communities while enabling informed analysis and commentary in areas of national priority.

UTS was invited to establish a national trusted repository for Australian Indigenous data in 2008. This node of the Australian Data Archive (ADA) manages the collection and storage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research data. This addresses the need to manage research data in this priority area by collecting often dispersed data and managing it in accordance with appropriate protocols, drawing on the expertise jointly developed by Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning and the UTS Library.

What ATSIDA does

ATSIDA is a specialised trusted research data management facility for Australian Indigenous research data and is managed by the UTS Library. ATSIDA is a thematic archive within the ADA with its datasets stored securely at the Australian National University's National Computational Infrastructure (NCI).

ATSIDA is guided by a board of internationally recognised experts in Australian Indigenous research. Staff managing the data are experienced professionals in process and information management, indigenous research and digital preservation management.

As well as ensuring the storage and preservation of data relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, ATSIDA staff work closely with:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities - managing appropriate access and return of digital materials.
  • Researchers - developing data management plans and providing contextual information relating to their research.
  • Higher education institutions - identifying nationally significant datasets and research projects as well as assisting with development of strategies to ensure preservation and access to data.
  • Government - influencing policies relating to, for example, research data, indigenous research material, intellectual property (IP) and moral rights.
  • International organisations - collaborating with international indigenous policy developers and researchers.