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Information Nucleus Project - Information Management

Project Leader

Dr Ken Geenty
University of New England
Tel: 02 6773 1993
Email -

About the Project

The objectives of this project are:

  • To develop and implement appropriate information management resources centrally and within the various sites of the Information Nucleus
  • To facilitate the timely transfer of appropriate data to SG
  • To develop agreed protocols for data sharing, including access, research analysis, acknowledgement, publication and authorship


Business Case

The direct benefits are largely internal to the CRC through efficient management of data and smooth access by researchers and staff from the CRC and the various other parties. However there are also indirect benefits to the industry, such as the timely transfer of data to Sheep Genetics which will enhance industry ASBVs, and the faster availability of data for research outcomes. Original development of a new web based generic database structure jointly with Sheep Genomics and the Beef CRC, and ongoing enhancement, could see ongoing use by both Sheep Genetics and research organisations.


The Information Nucleus will generate considerable data from several sources within the CRC that will be required for various purposes with a need for access by many researchers and others. The development of systems to support this and management of the information will be  a considerable undertaking and critical to the efficient management of the CRC research program. A core set of animal information and traits relating to pedigree, growth, live carcass indicators and wool production will be recorded at each site which will need to be coordinated across sites and stored centrally. Data relating to the environment, climate, pasture growth and stocking rate
will also be recorded. In addition large amounts of data will be generated from electronic recording both routinely and within the Program 1 R&D activities. The research programs will also collect samples and generate data e.g. carcass and abattoir data at slaughter and also following sampling and laboratory assays and measurements, including blood samples for genotyping. The genotyping in 4.1 has the potential to generate extremely large amounts of data as well and is being managed by a sample tracking system.

There are many stakeholders in the data generated and the system(s) developed and protocols implemented must be cognisant of this and meet the needs of all concerned. Some (not a complete list) of the requirements for data include:

  • Characterising the phenotypes of progeny for core traits and new and novel traits
  • Timely transfer of appropriate data to SG to enhance industry ASBVs
  • Use of data for real (or near) time management decision making for the IN flocks
  • Characterising the genotype of the progeny and relating to phenotype data
  • Access to combined data for research activities within the various programs
  • Tracking the collection and storage of blood, tissue and wool samples

Protocols are being developed for data sharing, including secure access, research analyses to be undertaken, appropriate acknowledgement of inputs from various parties, publication and authorship.