Data in Context IG


Group details

Keith Jeffery, Rebecca Koskela
Case Statement: 

Research is a global ecosystem employing multiple stakeholders. The UK Digital Curation Center (DCC) developed a lifecycle approach to manage data – encompassing both a linear sequence of work stages as well as the cyclic repetition of specific tasks. It recognizes conceptualization, creation, access and usage, appraisal and selection, disposal, ingestion, preservation, reappraisal, storage, access and reuse, transformation as the elements to constitute this cycle [i]. This and other lifecycle models [ii] conceptualize data related workflows, and behind each element, we anticipate at least a data producer and a data consumer to have a need or a problem to solve, e.g. a requirement; to hence define the boundaries of a particular context or request within the data management life-cycle.

Furthermore, we anticipate the need for documentation of the evolution of the data asset behind each element through re-usable contextual ‘profiles’ applicable upon various datasets if standardized; i.e. constituted by (1) standardized open vocabularies, upon (2) standardized formal data profiles and (3) standardized formal semantics.

A profile will (a) assist in retrieval precision and recall (including disambiguation); (b) provide information to assist the user in judging the relevance and quality of the data asset; (c) provide additional information that may be used in processing the dataset; (d) provide information that assists in explaining the dataset (purpose, relationship to persons, organisations, facilities, equipment, publications etc).

With this working group for each of the three dimensions, we want to investigate:

  • contextually or subcontextually-aware standardization work [iii];
  • re-usable priority requirements [iv];

in order to deliver:

  • an overview of contextually aware standardization work;
  • a priority list of data management requirements for contextual metadata leading to a defined programme of work.

The results of the investigation will support with preparations towards the constitution of a RDA Working Group to implement the selected priority requirements, i.e. ‘profiles’ in a standardized way at all three levels, which in a further step may aim at automation of transformation between available formal data standards.

The idea "Contextual Metadata" has first been presented at the first RDA plenary in Gothenburg (March 2013) towards setting up a working group, but is now first intended to start as a RDA Interest Group.

We want to strongly collaborate and exchange ideas with related Working Groups in a coordinated way - namely:


Metadata Principles - Created and endorsed by all the RDA metadata groups


RDA Plenary 8 Denver

Metadata activities:


Thursday 15 September 2016 

  • Breakout 1 - 11:30
    • Data Fabric IG: Joint Meeting with WG Chairs on Guidelines/Recommendations Agenda
  • Breakout 2 – 14:00
    • Joint meeting of Elixir Bridging Force IG, Biosharing Registry WG, Data Type Registries WG, Metadata Standards Catalog  Agenda
  • Breakout 3 - 16:00
    • Joint meeting of Metadata IG, Metadata Standards Catalog WG, Data in Context IG Agenda

Saturday 17 September 2016

  • Breakout 8 - 11:00
    • Joint meeting of BioSharing Registry WG, Metadata Standards Catalog WG, RDA/WDS Publishing Data Workflows: Data policies, databases, and metadata standards WG Agenda

Current Activity

We are collecting use cases (together with the other metadata groups of RDA). Please download the Use Case template from the File Repostory and  follow the instructions (top row) of where to send when completed.

Use Case Analysis

The initial use case Analysis was presented in Session 9 joint meeting of all the metadata groups at Plenary 6 in Paris. Below are some revised slides based on the feedback from that meeting and the master use case spreadsheet showing the process.


More information to be found in the Wiki.

[i] DCC Ditigal Curation Lifecycle.

[ii] DDI-Lifecycle, Data Asset Framework, Data Curation Profile, etc.


[iv] e.g. in EU, US (e.g. in Horizon2020, NIH, NSF, etc. funding programmes), ... South Americas, etc.


Last modified: October 21, 2014

Recent Activity

05 Apr 2017

Remote participation for Metadata at P9

The Metadata sessions will have remote participation if the times work for
you - the information is at the bottom of the agenda page for each of the
sessions - just click on the links below to navigate to each of the agendas
Here are the metadata sessions at P9 - we hope to see you there:
*5th April 2017 - RDA 9th Plenary Meeting - Day 1*
11:30 - 13:00 Breakout 1
Joint Session of WG Empirical Humanities Metadata, WG Metadata Standards

04 Apr 2017

Data in Context IG at Barcelona P9

We're hoping to reinvigorate the Data in Context Interest Group at P9 so
please join us
*7th April 2017 - RDA 9th Plenary Meeting - Day 3*
11:00 - 12:30 Breakout 8
Joint Session of IG Metadata, IG Data in Context: Evolving Metadata and the
Metadata Lifecycle

Plenary Room
​Keith Jeffery
Rebecca​ Koskela
Executive Director, DataONE
University of New Mexico
1312 Basehart SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Email: ***@***.***
Cell: (505) 382-0890
Fax: (505) 246-6007

15 Dec 2016

Comments on the recommended set of metadata elements

Keith and I are planning for RDA P9 in Barcelona and would like to have
received comments on the metadata elements prior to the meeting in April.
We would like to hear from the members of the metadata groups before
sending this out to a wider audience, including the domain groups. If you
have additional comments on the metadata element set please respond to this
email by next week (Dec 22).
Keith Jeffery
Rebecca Koskela
During and since the Amsterdam plenary the metadata groups - working

09 Sep 2016

Metadata sessions at RDA P8 in Denver

I've posted all the sessions that include the Metadata Standards Catalog
Working Group, the Metadata Interest Group, and Data in Context Interest
Group on each of the web pages:
- Metadata Interest Group (
- Metadata Standards Catalog Working Group (

25 Jul 2016

Rescheduling the on-line meeting for metadata joint session at P8

​The on-line meeting to discuss the agenda for the Joint Metadata Session
at P8 has been rescheduled for
​Wednesday, July 27th:
- US AK: 04
- US
​ 08:
- ​UTC: ​
​ ​
- ​BST
​ ​ 15:00
- Amsterdam: 16:00
- ​Adelaide: 23:30
- Brisbane: 00:00 (Thursday, 7/28)​
​check my
time conversion
to your timezone
​ (convert ​US
6:00 AM MDT

20 Jul 2016

Rescheduling the on-line meeting to plan for joint metadata session at P8

Here's the link to a new Doodle poll to reschedule the meeting to plan for
the Joint Metadata Session at P8. I've enabled timezone support. I hope
these times will work.
Executive Director, DataONE
University of New Mexico
1312 Basehart SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Email: ***@***.***
Cell: (505) 382-0890
Fax: (505) 246-6007

20 Jul 2016

Re: Will reschedule the on-line meeting to plan for joint metadata session at P8

Time conversions are not easy! My lesson learned is that I need to include
the time conversions in the meeting invitation. Based on the emails this
morning, many thought the call was an hour later than the invitation time.
The good news is that if we can get the time right, there's interest in
having a call! That's great news so I'll do another Doodle poll to
Thank you for your interest!
Executive Director, DataONE
University of New Mexico
1312 Basehart SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

19 Jul 2016

Re: [rda-metadata-ig][rda-datacontext-ig][mscwg] Reminder: on-line meeting to plan for joint session at P8

Reminder of on-line meeting on Wednesday, July 20th 7:00am MDT / 1300 UTC
- please do the time conversion to your timezone
​A google doc has been setup for this meeting:
Even if you can't join the meeting, do feel free to add your comments/ideas
to this document.​
Reminder of on-line meeting on Wednesday, July 20th 7:00am MDT / 1300 UTC
- please do the time conversion to your timezone

13 Jul 2016

RE: [rda-metadata-ig][rda-datacontext-ig][mscwg] Doodle Poll for on-line meeting to plan for joint session at P8

Rebecca –
Keith G Jeffery Consultants
Prof Keith G Jeffery
E: ***@***.***
T: +44 7768 446088
S: keithgjeffery
Past President ERCIM (***@***.***)
Past President euroCRIS
Past Vice President VLDB
Fellow (CITP, CEng) BCS