Lunaris is a scalable, national research data discovery service provided by the Digital Research Alliance of Canada as one of its core Research Data Management services. The bilingual Lunaris platform provides a single point of search for Canada’s multidisciplinary research data held in a variety of repositories including those of post-secondary institutions, departments at all levels of government, research organizations, and national repository initiatives. Information about datasets in the form of metadata records are harvested from repositories and made available for discovery. There are over 80,000 datasets from over 100 Canadian repositories and data collections currently indexed by Lunaris. Additionally, the Lunaris index is harvested by other discovery aggregators, including OpenAIRE Research Graph, Data Citation Index, and Proquest Central Discovery Index.

Lunaris harvests data from source repositories according to the metadata harvesting policy. If you are interested in making your repository’s data discoverable in Lunaris, please contact us.

Benefits and Features

Lunaris supports FAIR principles and benefits many different members of the research community:

  • Researchers: ability to discover and reuse data for research purposes.
  • Institutions: increased discoverability of their repository data at a national and international level.
  • Repository managers: access to list of Canadian repositories, and increased discovery for repositories via interoperable and centralized infrastructure.
  • RDM support specialists: ability to reference Lunaris as a way to get buy-in from researchers and institutions.
  • Funders: meet policy objectives related to reuse.
  • Society: increased findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability of research data with the intention of informing policy, education, and further research.

Lunaris contains features that benefit the broader community in a number of ways:

  • A specialized tool and service: A tool created for national discovery along with devoted service provision.
  • Text-based search capabilities: Keyword text searching functionality.
  • Map search capabilities: An innovative approach for searching that is helpful if geographic location is a significant aspect of the research.
  • Mutually beneficial processes: A workflow that breaks down repository silos and drives traffic back to original source repositories
  • Interoperable in a broader ecosystem: An openly available OAI-PMH feed that facilitates sharing of Lunaris metadata with international discovery platforms such as OpenAIRE Research Graph, Data Citation Index, and Proquest Central Discovery Index, extending the reach and impact of Canadian research to a global stage.

Project Background

Lunaris was formerly the discovery service of the Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR). FRDR offered a text-based search in addition to hosting the CANARIE-funded and University of British Columbia-based geospatial search tool Geodisy. In 2021, the FRDR Discovery Redesign Project was created with the purpose of integrating these two search platforms and improving user experience overall. The project led to Lunaris being established as a standalone discovery website. FRDR remains as another of the core Research Data Management services of the Digital Research Alliance of Canada and provides research data storage and preservation services.


University of Saskatchewan
Simon Fraser University

Community Guidance

The development of Lunaris has been guided by the input of the FRDR Discovery Redesign Working Group - a subgroup within the Digital Research Alliance RDM Network of Experts. Current membership includes:

  • Mark Goodwin, Digital Research Alliance of Canada
  • Krista Godfrey, University of Waterloo
  • David Kemper, McMaster University
  • Amber Leahey, Scholars Portal
  • Winnie Li, University Canada West
  • Kathleen Matthews, University of Victoria
  • Adam McKenzie, University of Saskatchewan
  • Nicholas Rochlin, University of British Columbia
  • Kristi Thompson, University of Western Ontario
  • Lee Wilson, Digital Research Alliance of Canada
Special thanks to past group members for their valuable contributions to Lunaris.

Development and Operations Team

  • Mark Goodwin, Product Lead, Discovery Services - Digital Research Alliance of Canada
  • Neha Milan, Product Lead, Federated Research Data Repository - University of Saskatchewan
  • Todd Trann, Technical Lead - University of Saskatchewan
  • Mike Winter, Senior Developer - University of Saskatchewan
  • Adam McKenzie, Research Data Management Analyst - University of Saskatchewan
  • Joel Farthing, Developer - University of Saskatchewan
  • Victoria Smith, Policy, Privacy, and Sensitive Data Coordinator, Digital Research Alliance of Canada
  • Lee Wilson, Director of Research Data Management - Digital Research Alliance of Canada
Special thanks to past team members for their valuable contributions to Lunaris.