• Output Type: Working Group Recommendation
  • Output Status: Endorsed
  • Review Period End: 2023-02-28
  • DOI:


  • Group: Metadata Standards Catalog WG
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  • Non RDA Author(s)

  • Adopters

  • Abstract

    Metadata Standards Catalog WG
    Group co-chairs: Rebecca KoskelaKeith JefferyAlex Ball
    Recommendation Title: RDA Metadata Standards Catalog WG Final Report
    Authors: Alex Ball, Keith Jeffrey, Rebecca Koskela, Metadata Standards Catalog WG
    Impact: The MSC is the continuation of Metadata Standards Directory and DCC Disciplinary Metadata Catalogue, so it is anticipated that users and adopters of the earlier incarnations will migrate over to the new Catalog in time. The following are examples of impact specific to the Catalog: • MSC has been adopted by RDA as the output from MSCWG and currently is being used actively. As discussed earlier in the report, it will be used as the data source, and possibly the interface, for a tool proposed by the Metadata Interest Group for interconverting between arbitrary standards. • The API is used to incorporate content from the MSC into the DCC’s DMPonline tool.¹ • The MSC and its API are used by the FAIRsFAIR project.² • The MSC has been used as a research resource by postgraduate students at the University of Victoria and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
    DOI: 10.15497/RDA00085
    Citation and download: Ball, A., Jeffrey, K., & Koskela, R. (2023). RDA Metadata Standards Catalog Working Group: Final Report (Version 1.0). Research Data Alliance. https://doi.org/10.15497/RDA00085


    The Metadata Standards Catalog Working Group continued the work of the Metadata Standards Directory Working Group, to develop a directory that would enable researchers, and those who support them, to discover metadata standards appropriate for documenting their research data. The particular goals of this phase of work were to simplify the process of contributing to the Catalog for users, enrich the information held to support more use cases, provide a machine-to-machine API, and provide a more flexible basis for future enhancements. The Group collected user stories describing ways the Catalog might be used. These were organized into a requirements specification that was used as the basis for developing the Catalog Web application. The Catalog is now live and accepting contributions from the community. A Metadata Standards Catalog maintenance activity continues under the umbrella of the Metadata Interest Group. Further developments are planned, including support for analyzing metadata schemes through the lens of the Metadata Interest Group’s concept of metadata packages.

    Maintenance and Retirement Plan:

    The MSC has been designed deliberately to be easy to use and to require a minimum of systems maintenance. Full documentation has been provided on how to install development and production instances, in order to aid ongoing maintenance and allow easy transfer between hosts. This documentation has already been tested in the transfer of the live instance from the Digital Curation Centre’s servers to those of the University of Bath. The University of Bath has committed to hosting the MSC for the foreseeable future, for which the co-chairs of the group would like to express their gratitude. The MSC database is backed up periodically to GitHub so as to guard against data loss, enable development instances to use a snapshot of the live data, and facilitate any future platform migrations. The Metadata Standards Catalog Working Group will continue in maintenance mode with oversight from the Metadata Interest Group. The group will further develop the code base in the light of feature and security improvements in its software dependencies. Several possible improvements to the user experience, API, and data model have already been identified; the group aims to implement these changes in a new release of the MSC by the end of 2020. The Metadata Interest Group is working to build a community of contributors to the MSC, similar to and seeded from the one the Metadata Standards Directory Working Group achieved for the precursor Directory. In this way, the records in the MSC will be kept up to date with a high degree of coverage.

  • Impact Statement

  • Primary Field or Expertise

  • Explanation of Sustainable Development Goals

  • Citations

  • Primary Domain: Natural Sciences
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  • Group Technology focus: Data (Output) Management Planning
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