Curriculum Vitae – Dr Peter Sefton
Katoomba New South Wales Australia 2780
||+61 (0)404 096 932
Short bio for conferences etc
Peter Sefton is an independent eResearch consultant, specialising in Research Data Management and metadata.
From 2015 to 2020 Dr Sefton was the Manager, eResearch Support at
the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Before that he was in a similar role
at the university of Western Sydney (UWS). Previously he ran the Software
Research and development Laboratory at the Australian Digital Futures Institute
at the University of Southern Queensland.
Following a PhD in computational linguistics in the mid-nineties he has gained
extensive experience in the higher education sector in leading the development
of IT and business systems to support both learning and research.
While at USQ, Peter was involved in the development of institutional repository
infrastructure in Australia via the federally funded RUBRIC
(http://rubric.edu.au/) project and was a senior advisor the the CAIRSS
repository support service (http://cairss.caul.edu.au/cairss/) from 2009 to
2011. He oversaw the creation of one of the core pieces of research data
management infrastructure to be funded by the Australian National Data Service
consulting widely with libraries, IT, research offices and eResearch departments
at a variety of institutions in the process. The resulting Open Source research
data catalogue application ReDBOX is now being widely deployed at Australian
At UTS and UWS Peter lead team the implement university-wide eResearch
infrastructure as well as collaborating widely with research communities at the
institution on specific research challenges. His research interests include
repositories, digital libraries, and the use of The Web in scholarly
Peter is involved in the eResearch community; he is one of authors and continues
as an editor of the increasingly influential Research Object Crate standard, and
is a member of the program committee for the eResearch Australasia
Dr Sefton is available for work on:
- eResearch and Research Data Management strategy
- Software architecture and business-analysis for research and higher-education
- Coding for research data management
I am Innovative, tenacious and creative in coming up with socially workable
solutions to hard technical problems. For the last ten years I have worked in
senior roles in and around Higher Education and research on systems, policy and
change management to support research and learning. I am plugged-in to networks
of practitioners, theorists and developers in a broad range of scholarly
technologies including institutional repositories, web publishing and research
data management. I am an experienced technical communicator and have [many articles and conference presentations at https://www.zotero.org/ptsefton/items/collectionKey/EV94T84G.
I am also experienced at leading software development. I know how to recruit,
mentor, inspire and guide technical staff to produce systems that meet the
requirements of stakeholders. I’m also maintaining my technical skills. Recently
PHP, although I still fall back on Python. I have a background in XML and XSLT
know my way around the major word processing file formats, and I have worked in
both Java and C# (not to mention Lisp).
PhD, Linguistics (computational) University of
Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics), First Class Honours, University of Sydney,
Associate Diploma, Outdoor Education, Bendigo College of
Advanced Education(BCAE), 1986
Conference & Standards committees
2019-2021 : Co-editor of Research Object Crate (RO-Crate) a specification for creating semantic digital objects for distribuing and re-using data.
2017 - 2021 : eResearch Australasia program committee
2017 Open Repositories (track-chair for short papers). I have had a long
association with this conference including 3 years as a conference committee
member, and as co-convenor of the Developer Challenge from 2010 to 2014.
2020-12 - continuing: Consultant CS34EOSCMESH
Working with the European Open Science Cloud and national research networks in Europe on the democratisation of FAIR (Findable, Accessible Interoperable and Reusable) data via data description, packaging and publishing services on file synchronization services https://cs3mesh4eosc.eu/
2020-12 - continuing: Visiting Fellow Fellow School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, University of Technology Sydney
Honorary role: collaborating with UTS researchers on data management and semantic modelling of research data.
2015-02 - 2020-11: Manager eResearch Support UTS (University of Technology Sydney)
Manged a team of nine permanent staff, including the staff of the Data Arena
Visualisation facility, as well as project resources:
Developed and implemented a UTS eResearch strategy (2016-2020)
Collaborated with IT and research portfolio to create the UTS Research Systems Strategy (2020)
Support leading RDM practice at UTS
Grew researcher capability in eResearch, RDM and reproducible research
Established an integrated operating model & governance for eResearch (including RDM)
2011-11 - 2015-02 Manager, eResearch: University of Western Sydney
Ran the eResearch function at UWS (now Western Sydney University). In this role
I established the eResearch team (~ 5 staff depending on project load), oversaw
the development of Infrastructure projects for Research Data Management and
participated in the NeCTAR Virtual Laboratory Project project Alveo - a
repository and set of eResearch services for Human Communications Science (~1.2M
2011-08 - 2011-11 Technical editor, HTML5 demonstrator projects: JISC
In mid 2011 JISC in the UK called for bids for case-study projects showing how
HTML5 can be used in academic materials online, including integrating documents
with data and making research outputs machine-readable: contributed case studies
2011-03 - 2011-08 Word processing expert, Digital Monograph Technical Landscape study: JISC
Short landscape study looking at the issues surrounding the adoption of e-book
reader technology within the scholarly publishing environment to assist with the
publishing of scholarly literature, in particular monographs.
2008-01 - 2011-03 Manager, Software Research and Development Laboratory: Australian Digital Futures Institute, University of Southern Queensland
With the management team, established the Australian Digital Futures Institute
(ADFI) at the University of Southern Queensland. I built-up a technical team
with high-level software development capabilities and established the major
centre in Australia for expertise in Institutional Repository technology.
Provided strategic advice to the university on matters related to eLearning and
eResearch and brought in circa $1M in external funding for 2008-2010.
2009-03 - 2011-03 Senior strategist (Repositories), CAIRSS: University of Southern Queensland
Provided Strategic advice to the CAUL, Australian Institutional Repository
Support Service CAIRSS team and community. (Externally funded 0.2 FTE) and
Supervised CAIRSS Technical Officer and CAIRSS-ANDS Liaison Officer.
2006 - 2007 Technical Manager, RUBRIC project: University of Southern Queensland
Led the technical team in a project “Regional Universities Building Research
Infrastructure Collaboratively”, rolling out repositories to a number of
Australian universities, plus one from New Zealand. Developed toolkits for
managers and technical staff and established a digital communications
infrastructure for the network of partner project managers.
2005 - 2006 Senior Research Technologist in Flexible Learning Systems: Distance and eLearning Centre, University of Southern Queensland
Project development for content management in eLearning. Analysed requirements
and re-engineered business processes for a project (The Integrated Content
Environment) to replace the existing publishing system.
2004 Programmer: Distance and eLearning Centre University of Southern Queensland
Developed preliminary project material and prototypes for publishing and
e-Learning systems. And participated in reviews of the existing publishing
2000 - 2004 Director, Applied Knowledge Systems: NextEd Limited
Developed and supported educational technologies for collaborative online
learning and Knowledge Management including a scalable content-management and
publishing system for educational and general content using XML
2000 - 2001 Consultant to Standards Australia International Document Technologies: Standards Australia International
Continued with strategic input to the projects established over the previous
three years (see below).
2000-08 Consultant, web-site redesign: RMIT University
Designed word processor template input, with metadata capture mechanism for the
enterprise-wide RMIT content management system based on the SIM (TeraText)
1997 - 2000 Associate Director, Document Technologies: Standards Australia International
Developed knowledge management strategy and policy using SGML and XML
technologies. Successfully re-engineered the production system for major
1996 - 1997 Document Management Consultant: Standards Australia
Formulated document management and electronic publishing strategy and developed
a project proposal for re-engineering publications
1995 - 1996 Publishing Systems Analyst & Technical writer: TAFE NSW
Started as a tech writer documenting TAFE computer labs, established an
automated web-publishing service for a large distributed educational
1994 Language Consultant; language skills training manual: University of Technology, Sydney
Researcher for Effective Communication in the Restructured Workplace (1994, ISBN 1 875940 11 1).
1991 - 1994 Senior Research Assistant, “Dialogue Project”: Departments of Electrical Engineering and Linguistics at the University of Sydney
Worked on a Telecom-funded project looking at speech processing, and developing
a natural language interface to directory database.
1992 - 1994 Associate Lecturer: University of Sydney
Functional Grammar and Discourse, Undergraduate linguistics program
1994-02 - 1994-03 Researcher, Multilingual Text Generation Project: University of Sydney
Developing computer systems to generate written language in multiple languages
automatically from databases
1993 - 1994 Desktop Publisher: Freelance
Production of technical diagrams for academic publications.
1991-11 1991-12 Professional Officer Telecom Research Laboratories: Telecom Research Laboratories
This position involved implementing specifications from the Dialogue Project
(see above), using Lisp.
I maintain an online reference list at https://www.zotero.org/ptsefton/items/collectionKey/EV94T84G