Peter Neish (University of Melbourne)

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24 Jun 2019

Peter Neish (University of Melbourne)

Research data curator at the University of Melbourne

Peter originally trained as a botanist and spent over 10 years at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne working as a collector, research assistant and later as a computer programmer and data manager. As part of the Herbarium Information Systems Committee, Peter helped develop the systems and standards for Australia's Virtual Herbarium, which was one of the precursors of the Atlas of Living Australia. He now works as the research data curator at the University of Melbourne where he helps researchers with data management and promote the benefits of open science.


He joined RDA about 4 years ago and realised immediately that the work going on was extremely relevant and valuable - contributing to a global effort minimised duplication while increasing efficiencies. Peter has been a co-chair of the DMP Common Standards Working Group for the last 18 months and has been working with the co-chairs on modelling Data Management Plans (DMPs) to help make them machine actionable. The emphasis of DMPs in Australia is slightly different to Europe and the US, so it was important that this was taken into account when developing the DMP model and standards.


'The RDA has introduced me to a network of colleagues tackling similar issues and in many cases this has lead to further collaboration and knowledge transfer. With the support of the University of Melbourne and the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) I have been able to attend two previous RDA Plenary meetings in person. Meeting in person gives me a direct connection with my international colleagues and allows for longer and more in depth discussions - and is certainly preferable to a late night Skype call! The real value of the RDA for me is the practical focus of the work and being able to apply it in a concrete way at my institution.

I am very excited that the RDA Plenary is going to be held in Australia next year. We saw with the International Digital Curation Conference held in Melbourne this year how beneficial it is to bring these international events to Australia and I am sure the RDA Plenary will be just as successful.'