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If you have your own records about the research projects which contain fuller or more up to date information than the grant description provided in funder records, you can create activity records for the project with the grant identifier (preferably a PURL) in the Identifier element; the common identifier will ensure the records display together in Research Data Australia. This is an important link in the research discovery context as publication outputs are also linked to the grant identifier. If the corresponding grant has not been provided to Research Data Australia by the funder, and thus has no PURL grant identifier, then supplying the funder name and grant identifier as part of the research project description is still encouraged.

Projects and programs can provide meaningful context to collection records as activity records: they are well-documented (because of funder requirements), with named investigators, a budget, and abstracts. However, not all collections are gathered through easily-described activities. In the following cases, the activities are so hard to describe, or provide so little benefit for discovery, that there is no point in creating records:

  • Collecting agencies (museums, archives, libraries) gather collections through their ongoing "business as usual" activities.
  • Australian government and state government agencies also gather data as part of their "business as usual" activities, and these activities may be difficult to define in relation to specific collections.
  • Very old research collections may not have documentation available on the activities that produced them.

Do not create an activity record for a project or program that is not intended to be linked to a collection or service.

Metadata for Activity Records in the RDA Registry


titleRelated Parties...

Activities (except for funder-provided grant records) must be linked to a party, through either the "hasParticipant", "hasPrincipalInvestigator", "isOwnedBy" or "isManagedBy" relationships.

Activity records should link to any funder(s) of the activity via the "isFundedBy" relationship. ANDS recommends using It is preferred that the FundRef DOI identifier is used when linking to the funder. The FundRef DOI is both the identifier and the key for a funder's party record. FundRef DOIs are available for lookup via the Research Activities API.

titleRelated Activities...

Relations between activities are only relevant if they improve collections discovery. Relationships between activities can be expressed through the "isFundedBy" (a related program) or "hasPart"/"isPartOf" (for program/project hierarchies) relations, or the generic "hasAssociationWith" (include a description of the details or nature of the association).


titleClick here to view...
DateChange history

7 July 2012

First web publication

12 April 2013

Added more extensive information about existenceDates and the differences between grant dates and project dates

28 March 2014

Updated Identifiers with information about the display of multiple activity records for Release 12

31 July 2015

Content updated to reflect changes implemented in Release 15

17 May 2017

New Activity page created replacing the "Best practice for creating activity records" and "RIF-CS in Practice: Describing an Activity" pages. Content completely revised and updated.

New table providing an overview of schema requirements for activities added to replace the Metadata Content Requirements page on the ANDS website. Providing a title now mandatory in the RDA Registry.

16 Jan 2020Added information about FundRef IDs to Related Parties