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The Australian Research Enabling Environment (ARCHER) builds on the architecture and prototype software developed by the DART and ARROW projects to adapt them to fit the needs of a number of data intensive research areas represented by the nine high priority capabilities under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

ARCHER is a project to productionise the software tools developed under the DART project and adapt them to fit the needs of a number of NCRIS priority research capabilities. ARCHER will take the 'proof-of-concept' tools developed under DART and produce 'production-ready' software tools to assist researchers collect and store data, share it securely with collaborators, plus access many of the DART developed tools, such as annotations, electronic publication, replication and backup, communication tools, search tools, etc.

The ARCHER project is funded by the Australian Commonwealth Government’s Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST), through to the end of 2007. The funding has been provided through the Systemic Infrastructure Initiative (SII) as part of the Commonwealth Government's Backing Australia's Ability – Building Our Future Through Science and Innovation. DART is part of the collective Managed Environment for Research Repository Infrastructure (MERRI) set of projects.

Project Partners

The ARCHER project partners are Monash University (lead institution) in Melbourne, The University of Queensland in Brisbane and James Cook University in Townsville.

Project goals

The vision for ARCHER is to provide MyResearchSpace: an integrated solution for distributed eresearch teams. ARCHER is focussed on the research/collaboration space, particularly tools that support working with large data sets and digital objects.

Research steps
ARCHER tools and phases of research
Conceive and Design Research Write Publish Expose

ARCHER aims to support these phases of research by:

  • Conceive and Design:
    • Providing a web-based collaboration space that integrates information resources, threaded discussions and dynamic collaborative documents, as well as providing an instant messaging and presence awareness system.
  • Research:
    • Supporting data collection from and monitoring of instruments at three different levels: small (sensors), medium (desktop instruments) and large (major national facilities).
    • Accommodating key existing object storage technologies, including SRB, for storage of captured data and metadata.
    • Wrappering of data analysis and visualisation tools.
    • Providing collaborative annotation tools to allow research teams to comment on data and documents during the process of carrying out research.
  • Write:
    • Supporting writing journal articles and conference papers including a collaborative document space for workshopping ideas, integrated access to results/blogs/resources, and collaborative annotation tools.
  • Publish:
    • Providing a single interface to enable publication of data to public repositories.
  • Expose:
    • Providing search and discovery tools to facilitate the discovery of datasets, annotations and articles in public repositories.

General information about the project is available on the ARCHER Project site.

The ARCHER project is a collaboration between The University of Queensland, Monash University and James Cook University, funded by the Australian Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training, under the Systemic Infrastructure Initiative, during 2007.