Friday, 24 August 2012

D 5: ARC and NHRMC registries as ‘sources of truth’.

ANDS staff have been busy with a swag of questions relating to the dimensions of Deliverables. Rather than post these all at once, it's probably more useful to keep them separate for further reference.

This question from La Trobe University is about Activity records...

…just looking at the acceptance criteria that you have put up for MS required deliverable D5, particularly in the light of how grant registry activity records are now being handled for ARC and NHMRC, I am hoping to clarify what is required under D5. As ANDS is now facilitating the direct migration of Activity records out of data from the ARC and NHRMC registries into RDA, (activity records to which our collection records presumably will link where appropriate), what direct dealings with these Activity records will our metadata stores be expected to have? Presumably we won't be originating any Activity records for ARC or NHMRC grants for harvest by RDA.

Should we instead be populating our metadata stores with the same activity records that RDA will be acquiring directly from the grant registries (and effectively just duplicating locally what RDA is already doing nationally)?

Should we be acquiring those records via RDA (to ensure alignment with RDA, inclusion of RDA data elements, etc.)?

I'm curious about what sort of role these records would be expected to have in our metadata store when we have not created them nor, presumably, added anything to them locally, and where we are not responsible for ensuring their alignment with any ‘sources of truth’. It puts them into a different category altogether from the party records and collection records that we will be storing, where we do have responsibility for their creation (including alignment with ‘sources of truth’) and integration into NLA or RDA. In this case we simply seem to be taking on responsibility for integrating these records from RDA into our local metadata store rather than the other way around as applies to our other types of records.

I'm curious as to what kind of outcome ANDS is looking for out of this process, and what functions the local versions of these records are supposed to be supporting, especially as ANDS itself has now taken responsibility for aligning activity records relating to ARC or NHMRC grants with their ‘sources of truth’.

Regarding grants that are not from either ARC or NHMRC, I assume that we should be creating these records locally and providing them for harvest by RDA as activity records and then post-harvest integrating additional elements added in by RDA to ensure that we retain alignment with the RDA versions of those records (much as we would do with party records harvested by the NLA).

Answer:

At the time that the Metadata Stores Program was initiated, it was anticipated that we (ANDS) would be able to facilitate the development of a service from ARC and NMHRC that would provide an automated content feed to Activity records. ANDS coverage of ARC/NMHRC Grant Activities is currently 2000-2010 (we can also make records for 2011 on request). These records were intended to act as place holders until the automated service was in place. Regrettably, the development of such a service is taking longer than we had anticipated. In fact, such a service is unlikely to exist before the Metadata Stores Program finishes.

Consequently, we need to be fairly pragmatic about this deliverable. This means that you are correct in thinking that you should continue to acquire those records via RDA and that it will be ANDS that aligns the Activity records relating to ARC or NHMRC grants with 'sources of truth' (for now). However, we would hope that you would have the ability to enhance your Activity records by updating them to include more accurate and current project descriptions that reflect the evolution of what a project aims to achieve and how it is being conducted.

Regarding grants that are not from either ARC or NHMRC, yes, the same principles apply: we expect you to create rich records locally and provide them for harvest by RDA as Activity records.

D5 Acceptance: Integration with the ANDS records derived from the Grants Registries will be demonstrated by inspection (by CLO) of nominated examples of Activity records. An expected date should be included in the Project Plan.

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