eResearch Infrastructure facilities collaborating to enable Humanities and Social Science Digital Research

Tinker forms part of national research infrastructure that supports Australian researchers in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS). The HASS research community is the largest portion of the Australian research landscape by any measure, commonly understood to comprise more than 40% of current funded research. HASS is a multidisciplinary grouping that represents significant domain specialisation, interdisciplinarity, and transdisciplinarity.

Tinker aims to support this diverse research community to access new tools and research methods, realise their research ambitions, and increase their confidence with data and digital research methods.

AURIN’s role in TINKER is to help develop technical workflow advice and solutions to researchers in the HASS disciplines who are interested in the where? question as part of their research programs (“spatial humanities”).

The first major component of this is to ensure that spatial humanities researchers have access to as much relevant data as possible. To this end, AURIN has partnered with the Australian Data Archives to bring historical census data from the 1981, 1986, 1991, and 1996 censuses into the AURIN Workbench. The release of these datasets, combined with data from the 2001 to 2016 censuses already available through the Workbench, means that HASS researchers will have access to 35 years of social and demographic change at the finest geographic level available. This provides an immensely rich resource to the HASS community, allowing them to understand how Australian communities have changed, and the potential impact of policy decisions on individuals, households and families.

The second component involves AURIN helping develop a workflow to allow HASS researchers to determine the right geo-referencing tool for their research. This tool is still under development by the Tinker team but, when released, will connect spatial humanities researchers with a broad range of spatial tools to power and add depth to their research.

AURIN has also provided training material and “recipes” as part of the Tinker program. These, together with more information about the Tinker program can be found at the Tinker Homepage

Decreasing Religious affiliation

There has been a substantial increase in the proportion of the population reporting no religious affliliation in the last 30 years, as shown in the maps above, showing the proportion of the population in Adelaide’s Local Governments at the 1986 (left) and 2016 (right) censuses.