The sharing of data generated through social science research provides numerous benefits to depositors as well as to the wider research community. It is an important safeguard of scholarship that social science data generated from research projects be available for replication, verification and extension. Researchers can access data from ATSIDA, verify the results of the original investigator, conduct analyses not performed by the original investigator or use the data, survey instruments and methods to guide their own original research.
The costs of running a survey are high, and beyond the reach of most students. Archived data allows students to learn about research method and analysis in a practical way. They can easily gain access to a wide range of interesting and high quality data that can heighten their learning of quantitative and qualitative research techniques.
Through its protocols for managing diverse access conditions, ATSIDA can ensure that conditions relating to the data continue to be respected while enabling researchers to contact or partner with other researchers with similar interests and to replicate or build on previous research. Indeed, other researchers, even from other disciplines, will be able to use the data (subject to the specified conditions) to investigate issues that the depositor may not have had the interest or resources to pursue.
Such subsequent use will also increase impact because any researcher who publishes results from the depositor’s data will be obliged to cite the data file in the publication, thus ensuring the depositor’s name will appear in the reference list and therefore in citation indices and evaluative tools such as ISI Web of Knowledge.
It is an Australian Research Council (ARC) funding requirement that data be lodged with ASSDA (ADA) and hence with ATSIDA for social science research conducted with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As stated in the ARC’s Funding Agreement for Discovery Projects to commence in 2014, there is an obligation for grantees that:
any digital data arising from a Project involving research relating to the social sciences should be lodged with the Australian Social Science Data Archive (ASSDA) for secondary use by other investigators. This should normally be done within two years of the conclusion of any fieldwork relating to the Project research. If a Chief Investigator is not intending to do so within the two-year period, he/she should include the reasons in the Project’s Final Report. (Australian Research Council: Funding Agreement)
To protect the interests of depositors and their Indigenous research associates, ATSIDA requires that original research be acknowledged in any publications that result from access to and reuse of data stored in ATSIDA. Furthermore, it is an ATSIDA requirement that data generated through the reuse of datasets must be deposited with ATSIDA along with any subsequent publications. These publications need to acknowledge the original dataset and ATSIDA as a source of their work.
ATSIDA also requires, as a condition of use, that a user does not modify material, for example photographic images or artistic works without written permission. The moral rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contributors to be acknowledged should also be observed in publications resulting from the reuse of a dataset.
Materials held in other archives
While most data deposited in ATSIDA is the product of original research (or reuse of datasets), some datasets include materials whose copyright is held by other institutions. In such cases there will be a need to gain permission from the copyright holder for the reproduction of materials, particularly if they are intended for commercial use and publication.