20151022 Major Open Data - The Digital Mineral Library at Curtin University.pptx (3.33 MB)

Major Open Data: The Digital Mineral Library at Curtin University

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posted on 19.10.2015, 01:10 by Matthias Liffers, Adam Brown, Brent McInnes


Curtin University has completed an Australian National Data Service (ANDS) funded Major Open Data Collection (MODC) project as a pathfinder to scan 150 of 2000 geochemical samples from the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA). The resulting datasets have been published in Research Data Australia and the AuScope Discovery Portal.


The Digital Mineral Library consists of 150 datasets produced by an ARC-funded TESCAN Integrated Mineral Analyser (TIMA). The datasets have been catalogued using a linked open data approach. Each dataset has been allocated a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and each physical sample an International Geo Sample Number (IGSN). The mineral samples have been prepared with embedded QR codes to facilitate easy linking between physical and digital data. A workflow integrates a laboratory information management system (LIMS) with the IGSN sample registry and TIMA automated mineralogy. Zircon, monazite, titanite, rutile, apatite and many other accessory minerals are rapidly identified (up to 20,000 grains/hour) and spatially registered for subsequent microprobe analysis


The architecture was previously described at eResearch Australasia 2014. The focus was on maximising the flow of metadata from system to system and minimising the workload for human operators. All components of the system (except instrument software) are free and open source. Open standards permits this architecture to be adapted to new components, such as adding new instruments or syndicating the data in new discovery portals. The architecture has been slightly modified since its initial planning due to system limitations.


This e-Research project was supported by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) and AuScope through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy Program. The hardware component of the project was funded via the Australian Research Council with support from Curtin University, GSWA, University of Western Australia and Murdoch University. This project was jointly run between the Curtin University Library, the John de Laeter Centre, and Curtin Information Technology Services.