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Managing DIG: Ensuring Currency in an Invaluable Resource

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Published: June 16Project Number: C22026

Get ReportAuthor: David Mulligan | The University of Queensland

It has regularly been identified that a large body of work covering many areas of the rehabilitation of coal mines has been undertaken, resulting in many reports and other forms of reference material. Given the time, resources and financial investment put into this diverse range of work, it is imperative that the continual transfer of this previously attained (and ever-increasing) knowledge takes place. A very real problem exists in many companies, research organisations and government bodies, where the research undertaken has not been adequately distributed to those who need it most. The transfer of technology is a vital but often omitted component of every research program and it was for this reason that the development of reference databases covering coal mining rehabilitation research was undertaken.

The Dig coal mine rehabilitation bibliographic database was developed to provide industry, government, researchers and other interested parties with reference information relevant to the rehabilitation of land after coal mining. The major theme of all the prior ACARP database projects and updates (C12044, C15045 and C19030) was to create a state of the art, current, best practice database and thus provide an advanced rehabilitation research tool where coal producers, environmental staff and researchers have an opportunity to use existing information to the best advantage of the Australian Coal Industry, now and in the future.

Given the increases in reliance upon electronic media over the last decade, the use of online resources, such as websites, databases and software, will continue to grow. While a large proportion of ACARP projects will result in standard reports, others are increasingly utilising advancing technologies to provide access to resources by everyone at any time and at any location. In addition, there will continue to be a massive increase in the production of new information and thus databases are an example of research tools which can be highly valuable resources.

ACARP C22026 was tasked with and addressed the following objectives:

· Update the reference information within the database with relevant current and past work to enable ongoing applicability to coal-mine rehabilitation;

· Maintain the database front and back ends to ensure seamless use by interested parties;

· Host the associated website and store the increasing amounts of data in a secure manner;

· Improve features and enhance search functions to create a state of the art resource;

· Incorporate research themes within the reference information to provide greater knowledge output; and

· Investigate sustainability options and continue to promote awareness of the database in order to ensure continual use and contribution to the database.

During the development of DigDB2 new design features were built in that included: 'future-proofing' by offering greater flexibility in choice of host operating system, server and database engine; support for trending developments in information systems such as cloud computing; numerous improvements to facilitate maintenance and new feature development; provision of a consistent user-experience across desktop and mobile platforms; support for the batch uploading of articles.

The significant advances and the re-design that has led to step-changes in ease of use, updating, search features enhancement, and overall functionality for both user and administrator, its ongoing success and value will only be as good as it maintenance, currency and oversight.

The CMLR has committed to ensure continuity and continue to guide the progression, updating and promotion of DigDB2 through 2016, and continues to seek opportunities and funding bodies (including ACARP) to capture co-support for its sustainability thereafter. The longevity of logistical and maintenance support is critical to capitalise on the effort invested in its development and recent refinements and to maximise its ongoing value and benefit to the coal industry.

THE DigDB2 MANUAL IS AVAILABLE FROM THE ACARP WEB SITE, SELECT GET REPORT

RESULTS FROM THIS PROJECT ARE AVAILABLE VIA - www.DigDatabase.com.au

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