Systems and data management

Systems and data management

Systems and data management

Managing your research data increases your credibility, makes it easier to apply for funding, and is important for government reporting. Researchers at Macquarie must follow the Records Management Policy and be aware of all relevant reporting systems and standards.

If you are unsure which systems for collection or reporting apply to you, contact the Post-Award and Reporting Team: research.preaward@mq.edu.auEthics and integrity approvals are handled separately.

Macquarie research collections 

Macquarie has created or contributed to Macquarie Papyri: Ancient Egyptian papyri collection, the Media Archives Project database and UniCarbKB: Glycomics knowledgebase.

Research data management toolkit 

This toolkit will assist Macquarie's research community with research data planning and management. It provides guidance and reference materials and enables researchers to include sound data management practices in their projects from the outset.

Intro to data management

Correctly managing your data protects you from data loss or duplicating others’ work. By managing, citing and sharing your data, you will be able to identify potential collaborators, accelerate your research and become more competitive for future funding opportunities.

Data management may be defined as any and all of the following activities:

  • organising data into directories/folders and using systematic and helpful filenames
  • organising materials collections so items are easily located (includes indexing)
  • applying security measures to confidential data
  • backing up data in a different location to the original data
  • synchronising data between storage locations (desktop, USB, cloud, etc.)
  • making data available to others via archiving or websites
  • storing final state data in an archive
  • collaboratively creating and sharing data with other researchers.

Defining research data

Research data encompasses data in the form of facts, observations, images, computer program results, recordings, measurements or experiences on which research output is based. Data may be numerical, descriptive, visual or tactile. It may be raw, cleaned or processed and may be held in any format or media.

Data that may more easily be digitised:
  • collection of digital objects acquired and generated during the process of research 
  • contents of an application (input, output, schemas) 
  • databases
  • documents, spreadsheets and presentations 
  • field notebooks, diaries 
  • laboratory notebooks
  • methodologies and workflows 
  • models, algorithms, scripts 
  • questionnaires, surveys, transcripts 
  • test responses or results.
Data that has a material or tactile origin:
  • audio and video tapes
  • material collections of artefacts, specimens, samples 
  • photographs, films, slides.

Create a data plan

Good data management begins with a data management plan: a document outlining how research data and materials will be managed, stored and secured throughout the project, as well as what will happen once the project is complete. It is best to have a plan from the start, but there is value in making one retrospectively.

For more information on forging a data management plan, see the following resources:

Code of conduct and policies

The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research's Section 2.6 'Manage storage of research data and primary materials' states that Researchers must:

  • 2.6.1   Keep clear and accurate records of the research methods and data sources, including any approvals granted, during and after the research process.
  • 2.6.2   Ensure that research data and primary materials are kept in safe and secure storage provided, even when not in current use.
  • 2.6.3   Provide the same level of care and protection to primary research records, such as laboratory notebooks, as to the analysed research data.
  • 2.6.4   Retain research data, including electronic data, in a durable, indexed and retrievable form.
  • 2.6.5   Maintain a catalogue of research data in an accessible form.
  • 2.6.6   Manage research data and primary materials according to ethical protocols and relevant legislation.

Macquarie researchers must be familiar with Macquarie's Policies, procedures and conduct.

Describing data

Describing your research data allows for informed interpretation, verification and further analysis re-analysis by yourself and others.

Describing your data involves capturing information that the data itself does not contain, but is still vital to understanding it. These descriptors are referred to as “metadata”, and should be implemented from as early in the project as possible. Examples of metadata include:

  • when and where the data was created or collected 
  • equipment used
  • code and abbreviation key
  • typical accuracy and/or resolution 
  • methods of analysis   
  • software code 
  • technical requirements for access or re-use

Different projects will require different metadata standards. A broadly-applicable standard is Dublin Core. You can find more information on Metadata at the following resources:

Storing data

Regardless of your project, you will need a plan for storing data. Consider the following:

  • Where and how to store your data
  • Backup methods
  • Who needs access to your data, and when?

Your methods for data storage and access should be governed by your project’s needs:

  • What is the volume of data needed and for how long?
  • What formats (.doc, .jpg, etc.) will be used and how easily can data be migrated to other formats?
  • What are your privacy and security requirements?
  • Is your desired storage method long-term or will it need to change for archiving?
  • Will working and final data be dealt with differently?

Macqurie provides low-volume storage for Macquarie staff through Truth. If you have larger storage needs or are collaborating with external staff, you can use an external storage system, or lodge a OneHelp Request at help@mq.edu.au, including ‘Research Data Storage Request” in the email subject to discuss your needs and options.

Showcasing data

While some disciplines have traditions of showcasing data, all should consider showcasing metadata via Research Data Australia (RDA).

RDA promotes visibility of Australian research. Contact researchdata@mq.edu.au for further info.

Citing data

It is important to cite the data that you use to acknowledge its creator and provide context for your use. Data citation will be dependent on your discipline and publisher. If you cannot find a preferred format, refer to the DataCite Consortium, the University of Oregon Library and ANDS Data Citation Guide.

To make your data citable, we recommend you:

  • share your data so it is accessible to others
  • include a preferred citation when you publish your data
  • if determining rights for the use of your data, specify that attribution to the original creator is necessary

Sharing data

Sharing your data benefits the wider research community and can increase your credibility. This does not necessarily mean making your data publicly available.

Options for sharing your data include controlled/mediated access such as providing access upon request, formal protocols for data access, or publishing your data in the public domain.

Sources of published data include:

Data management and reporting systems

Depending on your needs, you will engage with different systems. The roll-out of PURE may affect what systems are used and how.

The Library will collect theses and peer reviewed journals for HERDC, IRIS and ResearchOnline. If you are unsure as to why your paper is not appearing in IRIS or ResearchOnline, contact researchonline@mq.edu.au.

IRIS

The Research & Innovation (IRIS) system tracks, processes and administers research management at the University.

ARIS

The Automatic Report Information System (ARIS) provides self-service reporting, aimed at standardising reporting methods.

External resources

Australian National Data Service - ANDS -  is funded by the Australian Government's Department of Industry (previously DIICCSRTE) to help transform Australia's research data environment.

To enable this transformation, ANDS is:

See the ANDS website for comprehensive information on Data Management, Metadata, Discovery, Access and Re-use of Data, Technical Resources and Guides.

Research Data Australia is an Internet-based discovery service designed to provide rich connections between data, projects, researchers and institutions, and promote visibility of Australian research data collections in search engines. There are many Macquarie data collections already described in RDA.

Research Data MANTRA is a course designed for PhD students  and others who are planning a research project using digital data.

ANDS DMP 21 is an expandable data management planning tool based around 21 questions.

The UK's Digital Curation Centre provides expert advice and practical help to anyone in UK higher education and research wanting to store, manage, protect and share digital research data.

Online forms development and user guides

Implementation of online forms aims to improve the research experience of staff and student alike through the development of online forms for Macquarie University's Research Office and Higher Degree Research Office. This covers a range of forms used by grants and sponsored research, human ethics, animal ethics and postgraduate student management.

Over time, it is anticipated that replacing current (hard copy forms) by eForms will provide countless benefits to our researchers, committee members and professional staff, namely:

  1. reducing paper consumption
  2. minimising the time taken to complete and submit applications
  3. reducing the possibility of submitting incomplete applications
  4. minimising data entry errors, and
  5. creating more efficient processes for all

Systems support and help

Contact

Richard Lee
Online Forms Officer
E: r.lee@mq.edu.au
T: (02) 9850 4458

Aplication and Project Lifecycle Information (APLI)

Onehelp request for APLI, or contact IRIS Help on +61 (2) 9850 4455.

Animal Ethics Online Application Form

Onehelp request for Animal Ethics

Human Ethics Online Application Form

Onehelp request for Human Ethics

Research outputs and collection 

2017 Collection

Relevant Documents 

The Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC) has been removed from the Government specifications. However, the collection of all research outputs is still being collected for reporting purposes such as Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) reporting, as well as internal reporting, which includes faculty reports for research active status and researcher profiles.

The Research Office and the Library will continue to manage the collection of all Macquarie University publications. Library staff will source and enter some Macquarie University affiliated 2016 publications from scholarly databases. This mostly includes articles in peer-reviewed journals. Records will then be uploaded into the Integrated Research Information System (IRIS). Researchers are not required to add their publications into IRIS.

It is still the researcher's responsibility to ensure that all of their 2016 publications are in IRIS before the 30 April 2017.

Future changes are anticipated with the implementation of a new publications and research system at Macquarie University: PURE. However, the below process will continue until further notice:

  • Check that all of your publications are in IRIS.
  • If all of your publications are not in IRIS, check whether your publications are still being processed at ResearchOnline Pending Publications.
  • If your publications are not in IRIS or Research Online Pending Publications please email researchonline@mq.edu.au and advise the publication details.

To speed up the process send a copy of the publication to researchonline@mq.edu.au. Please note that you may be required to send additional verification material such as peer review evidence for conference papers or journal articles.

Researchers new to Macquarie may use this template to send their publication details to researchonline@mq.edu.au. You can also choose to send your CV including past publications and this information will be loaded into IRIS to support internal and/or government reporting. Our description and diagram on the collection process provides more information.

If you have questions regarding publications or the verification process contact:

Yvette Kiddle
Research Reporting Assistant
T: +61 2 9850 1033
E: yvette.kiddle@mq.edu.au

For Research Office system-related questions log a ticket on OneHelp or contact:

Semira Dautovic
Manager, Post-award and Reporting
T: +61 2 9850 4451
semira.dautovic@mq.edu.au

For any questions about ResearchOnline contact researchonline@mq.edu.au

For further enquiries contact your department or faculty administrator.

Open Access

In August 2008 the University Council in the Open Access Policy mandated the deposit of all refereed, revised, final draft research manuscripts into the Macquarie University ResearchOnline, the University's digital open access collection. These manuscripts will be made open access, available to anyone on the Internet, except where this is restricted by publisher policy. The Library will undertake copyright checks and will only make the manuscript available open-access where the publisher allows this. Where allowed, the publisher PDF will be the version published.

As part of the HERDC processing, Library staff will approach researchers for relevant copies of publications covered by the Open Access mandate.

If you would like any of your publications to be made open-access, contact the Library's Research and Scholarly Information Team at: researchonline@mq.edu.au

Libguides provides general information regarding Macquarie University Open Access and ResearchOnline.

For further information about Open Access at Macquarie or regarding Macquarie University ResearchOnline contact:

Fiona Burton
Associate University Librarian, Resources
Library Resources
T: +61 (2) 9850 7556
E: fiona.burton@mq.edu.au

Previous HERDC publication categories

A1 - Books

To be included in this category the publication must meet the definition of research and:

  • must be a major work of scholarship
  • must be offered for sale
    • for hard copies, bound
    • for CD-ROMs, packaged
  • must have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
  • must be written entirely by a single author, or by joint authors who share responsibility for the whole book.
  • must have been published by a commercial publisher.
  • the author must be affiliated with the claiming Higher Education Provider (HEP).
  • E-books are now eligible. If not published by a commercial publisher, the e-book must have peer review evidence.

Note: Many of the books published by professional bodies do not report original research findings but report the results of evaluations, or compile existing information for the benefit of professionals or practitioners. It is important that HEPs assess these publications very carefully against the definition of research provided and only count those publications which are major works of scholarship and report original research activities for the first time. Freely available research-related reports published by external institutes or public agencies and departments are also unlikely to meet these criteria.

The types of books that may meet the criteria include: critical scholarly texts (e.g. music, medieval or classical texts), new interpretations of historical events and new ideas or perspectives based on established research findings.

The types of books that do not meet the criteria include: textbooks, anthologies, edited books, creative works such as novels, translations and revisions or new editions and theses. Also unlikely to meet the criteria are books published by print–on–demand publishers that do not engage in editing/proofreading/peer review (such as VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, Intech and Lambert Academic Publishing).

Documentation required for verification

  • Copy of the contents, preface/acknowledgement and introduction pages and other pages containing the following bibliographic information:
    • ISBN
    • Title
    • Author(s)
    • Publisher
    • All dates referring to copyright, publication, printing, distribution (Further evidence may be required if the above extracts do not demonstrate classification.)
  • Evidence indicating research undertaken in author's capacity as a staff member or student of the HEP
  • Evidence of the year of publication

Commercial Publisher

For the purposes of the HERDC specifications, a commercial publisher is an entity for which the core business is producing books and distributing them for sale.

If publishing is not the core business of an organisation but there is a distinct organisational entity devoted to commercial publication and its publications are not completely paid for or subsidised by the parent organisation or a third party, the publisher is acceptable as a commercial publisher.

For the purposes of these specifications, HEP and other self-supporting HEP presses are also regarded as commercial publishers, provided that they have responsibility for the distribution of the publication, in addition to its printing.

B1 - Book chapters 

This category refers to a contribution, consisting substantially of new material, to an edited compilation in which the material is subject to editorial scrutiny.

To be included in this category the publication must meet the definition of research and:

  • must be a major work of scholarship
  • must be offered for sale
    • for hard copies, bound
    • for CD-ROMs, packaged
  • must have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
  • must have been published by a commercial publisher
  • the author must be affiliated with the claiming Higher Education Provider (HEP)
  • E-book chapters are now eligible. If not published by a commercial publisher, the e-book must have peer review evidence

Note: Many of the books published by professional bodies do not report original research findings but report the results of evaluations, or compile existing information for the benefit of professionals or practitioners. It is important that HEPs assess these publications very carefully against the definition of research provided and only count those publications which are major works of scholarship and report original research activities for the first time. Freely available research-related reports published by external institutes or public agencies and departments are also unlikely to meet these criteria.


A book chapter may be included if it has been published previously as long as it constitutes substantial new knowledge.

and constitutes original research. Substantial scholarly activity, as evidenced by discussion of the relevant literature, an awareness of the history and antecedents of work described, and provided in a format which allows a reader to trace sources of the work, including through citations and footnotes. The types of book chapters that may meet the criteria include: a scholarly introduction of chapter length to an edited volume, where the content of the introduction reports research and makes a substantial contribution to a defined area of knowledge; a critical scholarly text of chapter length, e.g. in music, medieval or classical texts; and critical reviews of current research.

Unless they meet all of the criteria for inclusion, the following book chapters must be excluded: chapters in textbooks; entries in reference books; anthologies; revisions of chapters in edited books; forewords; brief introductions; brief editorials; appendices; literary or creative pieces such as collections of short stories; Theses and translations. Also unlikely to meet the criteria are book chapters within books published by print-on-demand publishers that do not engage in editing/proofreading/peer review (such as VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, Intech and Lambert Academic Publishing).

Documentation Required for Verification

  • Copy of the book chapter
  • Copy of the contents, preface/acknowledgement and introduction pages and other pages containing the following bibliographic information:
    • ISBN
    • Title
    • Editor(s)
    • Author(s)
    • Publisher
    • All dates referring to copyright, publication, printing, distribution
  • If the chapter is in a revised edition, also include contents of previous edition if preface does not indicate that the chapter is new
  • Evidence indicating research undertaken in author's capacity as a staff member or student of the HEP
  • Evidence of the year of publication

Commercial Publisher

For the purposes of the HERDC specifications, a commercial publisher is an entity for which the core business is producing books and distributing them for sale.

If publishing is not the core business of an organisation but there is a distinct organisational entity devoted to commercial publication and its publications are not completely paid for or subsidised by the parent organisation or a third party, the publisher is acceptable as a commercial publisher.

For the purposes of these specifications, HEP and other self-supporting HEP presses are also regarded as commercial publishers, provided that they have responsibility for the distribution of the publication, in addition to its printing.

C1 - Journal articles 

To be included in this category the journal article must meet the definition of research and:

  • must be published in a scholarly journal
  • must have been peer-reviewed. Note: the fact that an article has been peer reviewed does not automatically mean that it is eligible. The article must still meet the definition of research as well as all other criteria
  • must have an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
    • Some journals may be regularly published as separate volumes with an ISBN rather than an ISSN. Provided that the publication is clearly identified as an edition of a journal, and not a book, articles in such publications may be eligible if they meet all other criteria
    • If an ISSN does not appear in the journal:
  • the author must be affiliated with the claiming Higher Education Provider (HEP).

The types of journal articles that may meet the criteria include: commentaries and communications of original research; research notes; letters to journals, provided that the letter satisfies the definition of research and the subsequent definitions for journal articles in this section; critical scholarly texts which appear in article form; articles reviewing multiple works or an entire field of research; invited papers in journals; articles in journals which are targeted to both scholars and professionals; and articles in a stand alone series.

The types of journal articles that do not meet the criteria include: letters to the editor; case studies; articles designed to inform practitioners on existing knowledge in a professional field; articles in newspapers and popular magazines; editorials; book reviews; brief commentaries and communications of original research; and reviews of art exhibitions, concerts, theatre productions.

 Documentation Required for Verification

  • The article or offprint of article/contribution
  • Pages showing all bibliographic information:
    • ISSN 
    • Journal Title
    • Article Title
    • Author(s)
    • Publisher
    • Dates where not provided in the article or offprint
  • By-line or footnote or statement in publication indicating research undertaken in author's capacity as a staff member or student of the HEP
  • Evidence that the article has been peer-reviewed
  • Evidence of the year of publication
  • Evidence of invited status (if applicable)

Peer Review

For the purposes of the HERDC, an acceptable peer review process is one that involves an assessment or review of the research publication in its entirety by independent, qualified experts before publication. Independent in this context means independent of the author.

For journal articles, any of the following are acceptable as evidence of peer review:

  • the journal is listed on the ARC's ERA 2012 or 2010 journal lists
  • the journal is listed in Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge Master Journal List
  • the journal is classified as 'refereed' in Ulrich's Knowledgebase
  • there is a statement in the journal which shows that contributions are peer reviewed
  • there is a statement or acknowledgement from the journal editor which shows that contributions are peer reviewed
  • a copy of a reviewer's assessment relating to the article.

Note: a statement from an author that a publication was peer reviewed is not acceptable. The existence of a national or international advisory board is also not sufficient evidence that all relevant publications were assessed by members of it.

E1 - Conference publications

To be included in this category the journal article must meet the definition of research and must:

  • be published in full. The papers may appear in a number of different formats, e.g. a volume of proceedings, a special edition of a journal, a normal issue of a journal, a book or a monograph, CD-ROM or conference or organisational website
  • be peer reviewed
  • be presented at conferences, workshops or seminars of national or international significance
  • the author must be affiliated with the claiming Higher Education Provider (HEP).

The types of conference publications that do not meet the criteria include papers that appear only in a volume handed out to conference participants, keynote addresses, plenary addresses, poster presentations and abstracts of conference publications.

Documentation Required for Verification

  • The paper or offprint of paper
  • Contents, preface and introduction and pages showing all relevant bibliographic information:
    • ISBN or ISSN (if applicable)
    • Article title
    • Conference title
    • Proceedings title
    • Editor(s) (if applicable)
    • Author(s)
    • Publisher/Place Published
    • Conference and publication dates
  • Evidence of national or international significance if not clearly shown in documents above
  • By-line or footnote or statement in publication indicating research undertaken in author's capacity as a staff member or student of the HEP
  • Evidence that the article has been peer-reviewed
  • Evidence of the year of publication

Peer Review

For the purposes of the HERDC, an acceptable peer review process is one that involves an assessment or review of the research publication in its entirety by independent, qualified experts before publication. Independent in this context means independent of the author.

For conference publications, any of the following are acceptable as evidence of peer review:

  • there is a statement in the conference proceedings which shows that contributions are peer reviewed (in the introduction, preface, etc.)
  • there is a statement on the official conference website which shows that contributions are peer reviewed
  • there is a statement or acknowledgement from the proceedings editor which shows that contributions are peer reviewed
  • a copy of a reviewer's assessment relating to the article.

Note: a statement from an author that a publication was peer reviewed is not acceptable.

Eligible research, author affiliation and year of publication

Definition of Research

For the purposes of the HERDC Specifications, research publications are books, book chapters, journal articles and/or conference publications which meet the definition of research. These publications are characterised by:

  • substantial scholarly activity, as evidenced by discussion of the relevant literature, an awareness of the history and antecedents of work described, and provided in a format which allows a reader to trace sources of the work, including through citations and footnotes
  • originality (i.e. not a compilation of existing works)
  • veracity/validity through a peer validation process or by satisfying the commercial publisher processes
  • increasing the stock of knowledge
  • being in a form that enables dissemination of knowledge

Note: Scholarly editions and scholarly translations must have a major demonstrable original research component in the edition or translation to be considered for inclusion in a HEP's research publications return.

Author affiliation

The author of the research publication being counted for HERDC must be affiliated with the claiming HEP and must be identified either within or on the work being claimed.

Where author affiliation with the claiming HEP is not identified within a work, the following evidence retained in verification material would be sufficient to demonstrate author affiliation and should include:

  • a statement from the author indicating that he or she undertook the research leading to the publication in his or her capacity as a staff member or student of the HEP and either
    • a statement from the Director of Human Resources or Dean of Students (or equivalent) indicating that the author was an appointee or student of the HEP in the relevant year (or earlier if that was when the research leading to the publication was conducted) or
    • an extract from the HEP's staff or student list that lists the author

Students (domestic or international) are considered to be those students undertaking HDR training to achieve a Research Doctorate (including Professional Doctorates) or a Research Masters.

Where a publication shows that an author has affiliation to more than one HEP (e.g. Janet Harvey, Tutor in Economics, HEP X; PhD student, HEP Y), each Australian HEP named in that by-line can each count the publication for HERDC.

Adjunct fellows, honorary staff members and staff on leave are considered affiliated with a HEP if the HEP is identified in the by-line.

Year of publication

The fundamental principles that underpin the publications data are:

  • The publication is claimed in the appropriate year.
  • The year of publication must be verifiable.
  • The publication is claimed once only.

To be able to count publications in the 2013 HERDC submission:

  • The research must have been published in the 2012 calendar year, and
  • 2012 must be stated as the year of publication within or on the work being claimed.

The definition of published in this context is the date the publication was released to its intended audience. Letters from authors, editors etc stating that a research publication was published in 2012, even though 2012 is not stated within or on the work as the year of publication, are not acceptable evidence of the year of publication. There are two exceptions:

  • For journal articles and/or conference publications that are produced on CD-ROM or are web-based, and do not contain a date published within or on the work being claimed, a letter from a journal editor or conference organiser verifying the published date may be accepted.
  • The date a conference was held may be acceptable evidence of the year of publication.
'Advance' or 'in press online' publications

It is necessary to check with your faculty or department if these publications are eligible for the HERDC submission.

The year of publication is usually the latest of the year indicated as published, printed or the year of copyright. However, there may be exceptions. For example, a publication with a 2011 copyright date may be reported in the 2010 collection if it has a publication date of 2010, and it is not counted again in the 2011 collection. Pages showing the stated year of publication must be included in verification material.


Expanded year of publication definition

Higher Education Providers must be able to demonstrate (in the verification material that they maintain) that the publication was not produced until after the submission date for that year's publication return. For example, they can show that a publication, although containing a 2011 publication date, was not published until after 30 June 2012. A letter from the publisher will be considered sufficient verification material to support the claim. Only those meeting these criteria would be able to claim for 2013 HERDC submission.

Contact

Faculty contacts

Business & Economics

Kevin Newport
Faculty Research Administrator
T: (02) 9850 4833
E: kevin.newport@mq.edu.au 

MGSM

Kerry Daniel
Research Officer Executive
T: (02) 9850 4833
E: kerry.daniel@mgsm.edu.au

Arts

Glenda Hewett 
Research Officer
T: (02) 9850 7061
E: artsro@mq.edu.au

Ruth Cox
Faculty Research Officer
T: (02) 9850 7061
E: artsro@mq.edu.au

Christine Boman
Grants Officer
T: (02) 9850 9663
E: christine.boman@mq.edu.au

Human Sciences

Jo Tuck
Faculty Research Coordinator
T: (02) 9850 9607
E: jo.tuck@mq.edu.au

Sciences & Engineering

Katherine Shevelev
Faculty Research Administrator
T: (02) 9850 9607
E: sci.research@mq.edu.au

Medicine and Health Sciences

Tammy Harwood
Administrator, Research and Ethics
T: (02) 9850 4571
E": tammy.harwood@mq.edu.au

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