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The eResearch Advisory Group (ERA) is concerned with making “eResearch tools” available to the research community, and facilitating the use of these tools as part of everyday research activity. Such tools broadly fall into the categories of: computation, such as high-performance computing; data storage and sharing, for example cross-institutional distributed storage systems; and collaboration, through tools such as video-conferencing and virtual research environments.

You can reach the group by emailing

Terms of Reference

The eResearch Advisory Group (ERA@Otago) is a sub-committee of the Research Committee. Its purpose is to support and promote eResearch across the University.

To Support/Extend Existing Practices

A focus on supporting and extending what we are doing already at Otago:
  • Help transfer experience from successful projects and bottom-up initiatives through case studies.
  • Find ways to support an incremental process to encourage researchers to use tools or build on their existing preferred tools.
  • Look at tools and practices already being successfully used and support them.
  • Explore the potential of eResearch in different disciplines: building common requirements and removing barriers.
  • Undertake surveys of present researcher practices and needs.
  • Describe the technology support functions that Otago presently has and what it should have.
  • Produce a framework aimed at developing a research ecosystem that encompasses research administration and project management.

To explore new/emerging tools and frameworks

A focus on exploring and developing new approaches:
  • Explore the use of new tools through proof-of-concept trials.
  • Explore the nature of such environments: the nature of the framework, the technologies and standards that it should be based on.
  • Promote the use of new/emerging tools and frameworks across all areas of research at Otago.
  • Ensure that any efforts are reusable, and to avoid unnecessary duplication.

International / National Focus

A focus on networking both nationally and internationally:
  • Interact with national NRENs such as the New Zealand eResearch Infrastructure (NeSI), and Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand (REANNZ). [Originally the terms of reference focused here on "KAREN", which is now referred to as the REANNZ network. The original terms also predate the existence of NeSI.]


David Eyers (Chair; Department of Computer Science)
Cate Bardwell (Associate University Librarian - Information Services)
Mik Black (Department of Biochemistry)
Russell Butson (Higher Education Development Centre)
Wallace Chase (ITS Head of Infrastructure; NeSI Site Manager (Otago))
Michele Coleman (Division of Health Sciences)
John Egenes (Department of Music)
Lorraine Harris (Research & Enterprise)
Mike Harte (Director, Information Technology Services)
John Milnes (Research & Enterprise)
Annika Seppälä (Physics)
Shiobhan Smith (University Library Research Support Manager)
Damian Wheeler (Information Technology Services)
Peter Whigham (Department of Information Science)

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