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The Research Data Australia (RDA) Registry is a software application for storing and managing the collection descriptions (metadata records) that are provided to ARDC and displayed in Research Data Australia. These records describe research data collections and the activities, parties, and services which relate to them; they should comply with the RIF-CS metadata requirements documented in the RDA Content Providers Guide.

There are two methods by which institutions may provide metadata records to the RDA Registry :

  1. Harvest from existing records in an institutional metadata or data store.
  2. Direct manual entry via the RDA Registry interface.

Potential contributors need to arrange for a Data Source Account to be set up for their institution (see below). An individual from the institution is nominated as the Data Source Administrator who will have access to the RDA Registry to configure the feed and manage the Account.

This is a free service available to all Australian research institutions, universities, and government departments or agencies.

Your ARDC Outreach Officer can help you get started, or email

How does it work?

Generally, contributors wishing to publish to Research Data Australia set up an automated feed of collection descriptions (i.e. metadata records) from their institutional repository or data store to the RDA Registry. This automated feed enables a contributor’s records stored in the RDA Registry to be kept current and reflect any changes made at the source.While the RDA Registry only supports the RIF-CS metadata format, automated feeds of other formats (e.g. CKAN JSON or ISO19139 (ANZLIC) XML) can be configured with a crosswalk (XSL transformation) to RIF-CS. The RDA Registry also supports the manual entry of RIF-CS records via the RDA Registry interface, which is accessed via the Online Services.

Data source account



Each contributor to Research Data Australia has a Data Source Account that allows the management of their metadata records, including harvester settings, linkages in Research Data Australia, and direct import or export of records. This account is managed by the Data Source Administrator.

Data source administrator role



The Data Source Administrator is responsible for maintaining the administrative information (including contact information) held in the Data Source Account(s), and may also oversee the technical processes of providing metadata to the RDA Registry.

Managing and maintaining the Data Source includes:

  • ensuring the Data Source profile, including harvester configuration, is correct
  • scheduling harvests for a Data Source
  • testing the harvest process as required
  • monitoring to ensure harvests have not failed.

Data Source Administrators should keep themselves informed about potential changes to the RIF-CS Schema and the implications for their institution by reading the communications from ARDC Services.

Access and authentication


To speak to ARDC about publishing collections to Research Data Australia via the RDA Registry, please email


RDA Registry software is open source!

The RDA Registry software is open source, so you can create your own metadata repository and discovery portal in your institution.

Visit the Registry Software documentation page for the instructions on how to implement it in your institution.



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