Data management at Geoscience Australia and the use of persistent identifiers

Dr David Lescinsky1, Alex Ip1, Nicholas Car2

1Geoscience Australia, Canberra, Australia,

2CSIRO Land &Water, Dutton Park, Australia


Persistent identifiers are a critical component of Geoscience Australia’s (GA) data management systems and underpin GA’s linked data efforts. Currently, GA generates persistent identifiers for products (reports, data sets, maps, data services, software, applications, etc.), physical samples, surveys and vocabularies with additional objects planned (features, organisations, etc.). The goal of the persistent identifiers is to enable users to identify the official, definitive metadata for these collections in perpetuity and provide access to the data. Additional benefits include the improved citation of GA data and tracking of usage.

GA’s persistent identifiers are supported by a shared technology stack consisting of minting tools, catalogues/databases, and a Linked Data API. Under the current implementation, calls on the persistent identifiers are handled by the Linked Data API to generate a Landing Page following the designated pattern for the type of object, or to provide specific information related to the requested object.

As persistent identifiers become more common there is a notable increase in their usage, however, the way in which the persistent identifier is used varies. The correct usage needs to be encouraged, as highlighted by cases where products are being “republished” using new persistent identifiers and references to new metadata catalogues. This practice undermines GA’s ability to present a “single point of truth” and to track usage of its products.


David Lescinsky has a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Earth Sciences and has more than 20 years of experience working as a geologist. David trained as a volcanologist working on active volcanoes around the world and simulating eruptive processes in the lab. During his career, David has moved across sectors, working in academia as assistant professor of environmental science at University of Western Ontario, Canada, in industry as a project geologist / hydrologist for Geolex, Inc. in Albuquerque, NM. David now works in government at Geoscience Australia, where he has  transitioned from geological modelling for geothermal exploration, basin analysis and CO2 sequestration assessment projects to a role as a Senioor eResearch Strategist.

David is currently the team lead of GA’s Informatics Team which includes data governance, catalogues, Linked Data, Virtual Laboratories and support for GA’s High Performance Computing and Data .


AeRO is the industry association focused on eResearch in Australasia. We play a critical coordination role for our members, who are actively transforming research via Information Technology. Organisations join AeRO to advance their own capabilities and services, to collaborate and to network with peers. AeRO believes researchers and the sector significantly benefit from greater communication, coordination and sharing among the increasingly different and evolving service providers.

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