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Metadata Database on Ageing

What is it?

Metadata is “data about data”. We are developing a database of metadata on Australian sample surveys relevant to ageing (e.g. including data dictionary elements, variable names, data types and formats, survey and sampling design). For example, a researcher may wish to explore sources of retirement income in Australia. Utilising the metadata database, they will be able to find all Australian datasets which collect this variable, how it is collected, available data formats and contact details of the data custodian.

What is the scope?

Australian sample surveys conducted between 2008 - 2018.

What is the benefit?

  • Make unknown datasets ‘discoverable’ by researchers.

  • Linking researchers to data custodians to facilitate data access.

  • Increase researcher productivity by providing a one-stop shop to understand measures collected of interest to researchers in ageing, the historical evolution of these measures and point to gaps in knowledge.

  • We envisage that this tool will be very useful in preparing ARC and NHMRC grants by pointing to all existing data on a specific topic in a very efficient manner.

  • The metadata is also of academic interest in itself.

  • The database may also facilitate new research conversations across disciplines.


In short, this will be a platform to empower researchers to identify what data is collected (for their specific research interest in ageing), how it’s collected and how to gain access to the data.

Contact: demography-enquiries@unimelb.edu.au