Intersect News #62 November 2013

6 Nov 2013

Infrastructure progress report

Research Data Storage: ready set…

Our Research Data Storage node is ready for your data! Hitachi Data Systems has completed deployment of the equipment, acceptance testing will finish this week. Ingest strategies are being discussed with collection owners to expedite the transfer of data to the node. We will start provisioning storage for the collections that are ready to ingest data over the next couple of weeks.

RDSI Collection nominations

The next Storage Allocation Committee Meeting is scheduled for 26 November, the cutoff for applications is 18 November.

We encourage all researchers to nominate their research data collections to be assessed by the Storage Allocation Committee (SAC) for storage on the Intersect node.

We have now approved 45 collections totalling 1200TBs of data.

We have begun ‘proof of concept’ work with three member universities (SCU, USyd and CSU) to investigate how RDSI storage (NoDe and ReDS) can be made available to researchers.

NeCTAR Research Cloud

Intersect’s proposal to become a node of the NeCTAR Research Cloud has been approved and we the contract fully executed. We have started work on our architectural design and when it is complete and internally approved we will submit it to the NeCTAR Project Directorate for approval.

We recently completed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Canberra for the loan of a CIDR/22 block of 1024 IPv4 addresses. This will allow us to stand up the first phase of our NeCTAR Node and we are very appreciative for this assistance from our newest member.

However, we are still looking for IPv4 address space and would be very interested in discussing this further with any of our members who may be able to help.

High Performance Computing

Applications extended for the 2014 NCMAS 
to 8 November

National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme Application guidelines are online at:

Application procedures for 2014 differ slightly from previous years, so consult

the NCI web site ( or contact NCMAS Administration ( if you have questions.

Grants news

Intersect is currently assisting members’ researchers in preparing ARC Linkage Project proposals. Any of Intersect’s services can be included in a grant proposal. Using the Intersect RDSI node will assist researchers to meet the following from the funding rules: “13.6.1 The ARC strongly encourages the depositing of data arising from a Project in an appropriate publicly accessible subject and/or institutional repository. See also clause 12.3.2.”

We extend this assistance to other groups that might be preparing similar proposals. Please contact your local eResearch Analyst ASAP for assistance. Proposals close 13 November.

Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank project complete

Intersect has completed development work on the extensions to the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank, funded by NeCTAR. The Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank (ASRB) supports all scientists investigating schizophrenia across Australia and internationally. The ASRB is now utilised by over 21 national & international institutes and the impact of ASRB on schizophrenia research is considerable.

Intersect has had a long relationship with the Schizophrenia Research Institute (SRI). This is the second round of development on the ASRB Intersect has undertaken. Extensions/enhancements to the Australian Schizophrenic Research Bank were made to:

– add further participant tracking, making administration easier

– solve shortfalls in the ‘Query Builder’ implementation, allowing researchers to easily formulate queries and

– embed genetic single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data into the system, providing researchers with access to genetic SNP data of ASRB participants. This is the first time this has been done.

The ASRB project acknowledges funding from the NeCTAR project NeCTAR is an Australian Government project conducted as part of the Super Science initiative and financed by the Education Investment Fund.

THATCamp Sydney

Intersect and the State Library of NSW ran the first THATCamp Sydney on 30–31 October. Over 50 people attended THATCamp, attendees coming from Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Wollongong and Newcastle. THATCamp stands for ‘The Humanities and Technology Camp’; it focuses on the application of information and communication technology to the practice of research in the humanities.

ThatCamp participants on the SLNSW steps

THATCamp Sydney participants on the steps of the State Library of NSW

Discussions at THATCamp Sydney touched on a number of themes of widespread interest. One of these was concerned with what to do with social media, especially that in response historical events, such as commentary on elections. Archiving it presents not only technical challenges, but also questions about ownership and about what to keep and what to discard. Another theme was related to how councils, cultural institutions, and other holders of information of interest to historians, could more effectively deliver these valuable collections.

Another Sydney THATCamp is moot for six months time.

A NSW Government open data forum 11 Nov

The aim of this forum is to identify how opening NSW Government data to the research sector can provide value to both researchers and State Government agencies.

This forum/ workshop follows a previous forum in April 2013 which introduced the role and value of the research sector in the use of Government agency data. A summary of the April 2013 forum is here:

The November Open Data Forum will provide a briefing on current NSW Government ICT policy developments, including the Open Data Policy. The session then breaks into two separate workshops and reconvenes in a panel discussion to conclude.

A report will be made to the executive of the Department for Finance and Services and we envisage that this will be circulated when available.


The following training courses will occur in the near future:

The eResearch Australasia 2013 conference

The eResearch Australasia 2013 conference ran from 20–25 October in Brisbane with 450 delegates from 150 organisations. Hot themes for 2013 included sustainability, use cases, showcases, data management and the NCRIS funded capabilities working together for NCRIS 2. Projects involving Intersect were widely showcased and Intersect staff presented many sessions. Presentations will be available in the coming weeks from:

For future event and conference opportunities, check our Calendar of Events

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