Building research data services at NeSI

As part of this year's Figshare Fest NZ event, NeSI Data Product Manager Brian Flaherty was among the invited speakers sharing case study examples and solutions developed for some of today's research data management challenges.

Figshare Fest NZ 2019
NeSI Data Product Manager Brian Flaherty speaking at Figshare Fest NZ 2019.


Fresh from attending two data-focused events in Australia the week prior ⁠— eResearch Australasia 2019 and the ARDC Research Data Summit ⁠— Brian used the opportunity to share an overview of the research data service developments underway at NeSI.

Recent examples include the launch of a national scientific Data Transfer Platform ⁠— delivered in collaboration with REANNZ, Globus, and multiple institutions across New Zealand ⁠— as well as an ongoing collaboration with Genomics Aotearoa (GA) to address broader issues in data management, custodianship, and access management requirements for Māori and other sensitive genomics data.

Recent success stories from that collaboration include Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research Postdoctoral Researcher Ann McCartney successfully assembling a gold standard reference for the stick insect genome. This work is important for conservation and selective breeding within our primary industries because the higher quality the genomes, the greater the potential impact for research in conservation. Read the full case study here. Due to its success, other endemic New Zealand species are now being sequenced using this technology, including the blueberry, the hihi, the myna, and the rewarewa. 

Another developing storyline in that realm is the storage and management of kākāpō data, a collaborative effort underway with GA and the Department of Conservation. Watch this space for a NeSI case study on that project soon!

Other speakers and topics at the Figshare Fest event included:

  • 'National DOI consortium' - Andrea Goethals, National Library of New Zealand
  • 'Developing research data services – planning, implementation and researcher engagement perspectives' - a series of four short/ignite talks from ESR, Lincoln University, Victoria University of Wellington, and University of Auckland
  • 'Data for whom?? Removing barriers to sharing data for the benefit of Maori' - Dr Kiri Dell, Business School, and Ngapera Riley, CEO,
  • 'Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future – the good, the bad and the ugly' - Dr Ehsan Vaghefi, FMHS
  • 'NZ Research Information System (NZRIS) update' - Chris Dangerfield, MBIE

Figshare also used the event to unveil its State of Open Data 2019 report, which can be viewed here.

We look forward to participating in next year's event! If you'd like to learn more about NeSI's research data services, contact