Enabling transformational research infrastructure – the ARDC Platforms program
Kerry Levett1, Siobhann McCafferty1, Jonathan Smillie1, Andrew Treloar1
1Australian Research Data Commons, Australia
Research platforms enable researchers to collect or generate data, analyse those data, and produce outputs that can be made Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR). Platforms are also called virtual research environments, science gateways or virtual laboratories. Through the Platforms Program the ARDC has co-invested in 26 projects to enable the development of research platforms that are transformative, and that lead to radical improvements in the way research is conducted, and/or dramatically increase the speed in which research is done. The program combines direct investment, access to ARDC services, infrastructure and expertise, and membership in a facilitated Community of Practice. The aim is to enable best practices in platform development and contribute to a coherent and collaborative national research data commons.
The program has invested in three different ‘types’ of platform: 1. The online portal or workbench – which is accessed via a browser and has advanced tools to analyse, annotate and/or process data, and may also provide access to foundational or reference datasets. 2. “Platform in a box” – where tools to analyse data are containerised to be deployed on a desktop, Nectar Research Cloud, commercial cloud or HPC. 3. Multi-site deployments – standardised deployments of a platform at multiple sites or institutions, which may be linked to form a federation with single-sign on and a federated metadata search layer.
This presentation will provide an overview of the program and highlight some of what has been learned so far.
Kerry Levett is the Platforms Program Manager at ARDC. She has over six years experience in digital research infrastructure and data management, and prior to joining ARDC worked for CSIRO Land and Water in water recycling and groundwater system research.