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Table of contents
  1. Getting Started with PARADISEC
    1. STEP 1: Sign up as a user with PARADISEC
    2. STEP 2: Contact PARADISEC to help you create a new collection
      1. Preliminary exploration of your files
      2. Information to provide to PARADISEC
    3. STEP 3: Organise materials to be sent to collection
      1. PARADISEC’s metadata spreadsheet
      2. PARADISEC’s file naming conventions
      3. PARADISEC’s deposit form
    4. STEP 4: Send your files to PARADISEC

Getting Started with PARADISEC

Last updated: 28 October 2021

This page is dedicated to helping you begin the process of getting your materials organised and eventually archived with PARADISEC (Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Engangered Cultures).

STEP 1: Sign up as a user with PARADISEC

Signing up with PARADISEC means you become a PARADISEC user. As a user you can access data in an open-access collections after agreeing to PARADISEC’s conditions of access, or you may send a request to access data that has restrictions on viewing by following instructions provided by the collector on their catalog page. Read more about PARADISEC’s Conditions of Access here.

You also need to sign up with PARADISEC if you wish to deposit material to the archive.

The process of signing up is simple- go to the PARASDISEC catalog web page:, and click on Sign up in the upper right‐hand corner. Once you sign up, you get an automated message informing you to check your email to confirm your account,

“A message with a confirmation link has been sent to your email address. Please open the link to activate your account”

Click on the link in your email to confirm.

Congratulations, you are now a PARADISEC user! It is recommended that you browse the collections held in PARADISEC so that you can investigate the different ways collections can be organised. Below are some examples:

  • PhD thesis: OE1 is a collection of narratives and wordlists that the depositor used in writing their PhD thesis. This includes segmented audio files that are linked to the exemplar utterances within the thesis.
  • Field methods course: The MEU1 collection holds all recordings generated during a Linguistics field methods course. Note how the different type of events (classroom recordings vs breakout sessions) are kept together by the nature of the item names.
  • Separate collections for each language/dialect/variety: Explore two of this depositor’s 27 collections, SDM42 and SDM45. Each of these collections feature one language variety. There is no limit as to how many collections you can create.
  • Many languages in one collection: In the DD1 collection, the depositor has included recordings of over 25 languages within the one collection. This collection is still growing!

STEP 2: Contact PARADISEC to help you create a new collection

Only PARADISEC administrators can create a collection in the catalog. When you are ready for us to create a collection, contact the PARADISEC admin team at or the CoEDL Data Manager.

Preliminary exploration of your files

Before you contact PARADISEC, take a look at your files and determine how you want your collection(s) organised. Do you need one collection? Or more than one? This is the time for you to reflect upon how you want your material organised in the archive.

Information to provide to PARADISEC

Once you have decided which files you would like to archive, come up with a name and description for your collection. As for the Collection ID, PARADISEC administrators can help you come up with this- the collection ID should be a unique identifier (could be your initials in all caps and a digit, or the ISO language code).

Example collection IDs: JM1, JCM4, OE1, MEU1, etc.
The digit is strongly suggested as it will distinguish your collection from that of someone with the same initials (John Mansfield, Julia Miller, etc), but also allows for multiple collections, should you require, e.g. JM1, JM2… JM85

Summary of information needed when you are ready to contact PARADISEC:

  • Collection ID (we will help you come up with this)
  • A brief title of your collection
  • A more detailed description of your collection
  • Funding body (if applicable) (e.g. ARC, ELDP, etc.)
  • Grant identifier (if applicable) (e.g. CoEDL = CE140100041 or Wellsprings = FL130100111)

STEP 3: Organise materials to be sent to collection

This section is an introduction to metadata and data management. For a deeper exploration into these topics, please visit the Metadata & Data Management page.

PARADISEC’s metadata spreadsheet

PARADISEC has created a spreadsheet that allows us to automatically create the catalog entries for items in your collection. You can acces the spreadsheet here. (If the .xlsx file does not download automatically, then right-click on the link to save the file). Please do not alter the structure of the spreadsheet, as this will prevent the auto-upload process for us.

Once your collection has been created and has been populated with the metadata for your items, you can edit you collection by adding further information directly via the catalog pages. You can add details such as:

  • your institutional affiliation
  • you can refine the map by zooming in on the map feature and selecting an area, or set it automatically by selecting the country or language
  • you can define/change access conditions
  • you can even assign editor privileges to a colleague or research assistant to help you update the collection’s metadata

PARADISEC’s file naming conventions

Now comes the thrilling task of making sure your files are named appropriately. Getting your archival file names in order should come after you have created your collection and after you have settled on the organisation of your items within your collection.

Our system requires all files to adhere to specific file-naming conventions. This section will step you through the required parts of the filenames.

TEMPLATE: [CollectionID] - [ItemID] - [ContentFile] . file extension

Coll ID Item ID Content Extension
JCM01 20150908_wordlist 01 .wav

NOTE: No spaces or special characters are allowed in your file names, and only the two hyphens seen above are allowed. Underscores are fine. File names should not exceed 30 characters, excluding file extensions.

  1. CollectionID is your PARADISEC collection ID and it typically has the shape of your initials in capital letters and a number. This ID can be determined by you, but must be confirmed as available for use by a PARADISEC administrator. This ID is created when you set up a collection in PARADISEC.

  2. ItemID An item could be recordings from a cassette tape, or now in the born-digital age, it is typically a recording event containing all related files from that session, including audio, video, images, transcriptions, etc. You must use a terse Item ID here; Item IDs must be under 30 characters. You may use an underscore ( _ ) if you need a separator; hyphens ( ‐ ) are prohibited within your Item ID as they are PARADISEC operators. You could have speaker initials in your Item ID (ABC), name of the task (wordlist), field site (NT); however, all of that can be put into metadata fields, rather than in your file names. You could name your items 001, 002, 003, etc.

  3. ContentFile is the final necessary part to a file name. This part of the name allows you to enumerate files of the same format, i.e. photos with 001, 002, etc, or multiple tracks of a single audio or video session, 01, 02, 03, etc. You could distinguish the type of microphone used for an audio track in this part of the file name, e.g. LM (lapel mic) or HM (for head mounted mic).

NOTE: Even if your item contains only one file, and thus does not need to be differentiated from other files within the same item, you still need to have this third part of the file name. You could use -00, -01, -wordlist01, -original, etc.

PARADISEC’s deposit form

You will need to fill out a deposit form that provides PARADISEC with your contact information, access conditions for your collection, including any restrictions. Fill in the form, sign it, scan or photograph it, and email it back to us. We keep this digital record with your collection.

STEP 4: Send your files to PARADISEC

If you are planing to archive digital files with PARADISEC, and your institution is part of the Australian Access Federation (AAF), you can sign up for a Cloudstor account. Once you do, you get 1TB of free storage available to you instantly. You can also send us OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive links. These options are the best means to transfer files to PARADISEC. If you do not use any of those cloud storage options, but would like to transfer your files this way, contact PARADISEC or the CoEDL Data Manager and we can create a Cloudstor folder for you to use for transferring files to us.

You can also use Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive.

If uploading files to a cloud service is not possible due to a lack of computer access or poor internet connections, you can post a hard drive of your materials to PARADISEC at:

Room 3019, Sydney Conservatorium of Music C41
The University of Sydney

Or to the CoEDL Data Manager at:

ATTN: CoEDL Data Manager
The ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language
College of Asia Pacific
The Australian National University
Coombs Building, 9 Fellows Road

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