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New Metadata Database on Ageing empowers population ageing researchers


Researchers of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) have today released an online webtool – the Metadata Database on Ageing – which assists researchers working in ageing to understand what survey data is available in Australia and how to gain access.

“Evidence-driven gerontology or demography research relies on rigorous population-based empirical data,” said Jeromey Temple, CEPAR Associate Professor of Demography at the University of Melbourne.

“The knowledge of and access to population-based data, which includes mature age respondents, is critical for researchers working in ageing.

“The collection of metadata – the information describing data – supports us researchers in our search for relevant data and can help inform an epistemological map of the ‘state of play’ in Australian gerontology,” he said.

Over the past two years, the research team based at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health has developed a database that includes metadata on Australian sample surveys relevant to ageing over the period from 2010 to 2018.

The researchers then created an online tool – the Metadata Database on Ageing – that enables web users to search and export metadata and obtain contact details for the relevant data custodian to be able to access the data.

“The Metadata Database collections can help empower researchers to identify what data has been collected for their specific research interest in ageing, how it was collected and how to gain access to the data,” said Associate Professor Jeromey Temple.

“With an increasing ageing population and reliance on data, metadata on ageing has growing relevance now and into the future.”

The CEPAR Metadata Database webtool is available online now and an introductory guide has been published in the Australian Population Studies Journal today.

Temple, J., Sousa , T., Williams, R., Stiles, J., Brooke, L., & Knight, J. (2021). Understanding survey data available for researchers working in ageing: the CEPAR Metadata Database on Ageing. Australian Population Studies5(1), 65-76.