Greetings from the Australian National University in Canberra where Ian Barnes is giving a presentation on the Australian National Data Service to my e-commerce students. ANDS aims to make the data behind research in Australia accessible online. The services provided are both for human readers to search for data and then machine to machine web services to access the data.
One interesting question is why scientists would share their data. One reason would be that this will tend to result in the scientist's work being more widely cited and thus promoting their career. A less obvious reason is that by making the data available will help ensure the data is preserved for long term use, including by the original creator. Another reason is that this may be required by funding bodies to prevent academic fraud.
Interestingly some of the initial data in the ANDS system is research data about humpback whales near the location for the proposed north west multi-billion dollar gas platform.
The service provides a google map interface using the geotagging information in the metadata. The service uses a different metadata standard to the ISO19115/19139 standard which is used for some repositories, but there is provision for conversion of the data. The service uses the same OAI interface as used for electronic document repositories. The service also provides persistent identifiers.
The service has a harvesting process to search registered data sources to find new collections of data to index. The service uses RIF-CS based on ISO2146 to represent data in XML format.