New DCC Resource: Disciplinary Metadata

29 January, 2013 | in DCC News
By: Elizabeth Bedford

The issue of disciplinary metadata standards - what they are, who's using them, how to use them - has been gaining attention in the RDM community. To support this, the DCC has created a Disciplinary Metadata page for those who need help figuring out what standards might address their own needs.

Rather than archival metadata standards, the resource focuses on descriptive standards that aid in data re-use; this is the information a repository manager might give a researcher curious about what his or her discipline has decided should be the minimum information kept alongside their data sets. The initial focus has been on metadata standards for tab-delimited data.

The resource provides links to information about 19 metadata standards, as well as their associated profiles, tools to implement the standards, and links to descriptions of how repositories and data portals have integrated various standards into their own workflows.

While users can search by resource type, the primary navigation is through four wide subject areas: Biology, Earth Science, Physical Science, and Social Science / Humanities. Within these subject areas, users can specify which particular discipline they are interested in, bringing up a list of all the standards, profiles, tools and use cases that have been tagged with that discipline.

For those disciplines that have not yet settled on a metadata standard, and for those repositories that work with data across disciplines, a General Research Data section links to information about broader metadata standards that have been adapted to suit the needs of research data.

If we're missing your favourite standard, please let us know! We are also particularly interested in hearing about your own experiences in implementing disciplinary metadata standards, especially if we can add you to our list of use cases.