Our project

CEPAR Metadata Database on Ageing

What is it?

Metadata is “data about data”. Our metadata database includes metadata on Australian sample surveys relevant to ageing (e.g. including data dictionary elements, variable names, data types and formats, survey and sampling design) over the period 2008 – 2018. The scope further considers surveys collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics or deposited with the Australian Data Archive, where metadata is publicly available.

The metadata database tool enables users to search and export metadata. For example, a researcher may wish to explore sources of retirement income in Australia. Utilising the metadata database, they will be able to find all Australian datasets which collect this variable, available data formats and contact details of the data custodian.

What is the Benefit?

  • Make unknown datasets ‘discoverable’ by researchers.
  • Linking researchers to data custodians to facilitate data access.
  • Increase researcher productivity by providing a one-stop shop to understand measures collected of interest to researchers in ageing, the historical evolution of these measures and point to gaps in our knowledge.
  • We envisage that this tool will be very useful in preparing ARC and NHMRC grants by pointing to all existing data on a specific topic in a very efficient manner.
  • The metadata itself is also of academic interest in itself.
  • The database may also facilitate new research conversations across disciplines

In short, this will be a platform to empower researchers to identify what data is collected (for their specific research interest in ageing), how it’s collected and how to gain access to the data.

How we did it

We used a five-stage approach: