Data in Context IG


Group details

Case Statement: 
IG Established

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


Current Activity

RDA Plenary 11 Joint Meeting: IG Metadata, IG Data in Context, WG Metadata Standards Catalog

Wednesday March 21 Breakout 2 – 14:30 – 16:00

Room A08 – Remote Participation


Meeting objectives

  1. Present the Metadata Standards Catalog and encourage further submissions;
  2. Promote discussion of the proposed metadata element set;
  3. Promote discussion and propose a process for
    • collecting domain vocabularies;
    • matching and mapping vocabularies;
    • establishing a canonical vocabulary to assist interoperation by crosswalks to the domain vocabularies;
    • contextual metadata used for assessing relevance and quality of the described asset for the purpose of the end-user;
  4. Ensure coordination among the metadata groups and representatives of domain (subject area) groups and other infrastructure groups attending.

Meeting agenda

  1. Introduction and purpose
  2. Metadata Standards Catalog (20 min)
    • Presentation
    • Request for further contributions for the Metadata Standards Catalog
  3. Metadata element set (10 min)
    • Presentation
    • Discussion
  4. Vocabularies Process (45 min)
    • Marine: Helen Glaves (British Geological Survey)
    • Social Science: Darren Bell (UKDA)
    • Wheat: Windpouire-Esther Dzale-Yeumo (INRA)
    • Vocabularies process discussion
  5. Closing, pointing to metadata resources on RDA website (10 min)


Use Case Analysis

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.

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

16 Mar 2018

Metadata IG Sessions at RDA P11 in Berlin

Here are the Metadata IG sessions at RDA P11 in Berlin. We invite you to
participate in these sessions. If you are unable to attend in person, the
remote participation information for GoToMeeting is included.
Rebecca Koskela, Keith Jeffery, Alex Ball
*Joint Meeting: IG Metadata, IG Data in Context, WG Metadata Standards
Wednesday March 21 Breakout 2 – 14:30 – 16:00
Room A08 – Remote Participation

16 Feb 2018

Fwd: RDA VSSIG Ontology Metadata Task Group Survey

​Metadata Groups,
​'m forwarding this on behalf of the RDA Vocabulary Semantic Services IG.
feel free to transfer this to other metadata/standardization/ontologies
​IGs or ​
Rebecca, Keith, and Alex​
Dear all,
[Apologies for multiple receptions - this announcement has been sent to
multiple mailing lists of the ontology/semantic Web/linked
data/standardization communities.]

14 Sep 2017

Joint Metadata & Provenance meeting at P10

The joint meeting of the Metadata IG, Metadata Standards Catalog WG,
Research Data Provenance IG, and Data in Context IG will be on Tuesday,
September 19 in Breakout Session 2 (14:00 - 15: 30 EST/UTC -5). The agenda
for this session is here
If you are unable to attend the meeting in person, there will be remote
access for this session (see below).
Remote Access Information (Gotomeeting):

13 Sep 2017

Units of Measure BoF at P10

Apologies for cross posting
On Wednesday Sept 22nd from 3.30 - 5.00 pm in Mansfield 8 at P10 there will be a BoF discussion of the need for formation of a Units of Measure Interest Group.
This BoF has been scheduled because of the need to prioritize units of measure when thinking about interoperable science data and the recently funded NIST grant to create a Semantic Units Repository. Please consider attending to contribute use cases, units/quantities/dimensions representation needs, previous RDA discussions and ideas relative to forming an interest group on the topic.

21 Jun 2017

Fwd: 2nd CfP: 11th MTSR'17, November 28th - December 1st, 2017, Tallinn University, Tallinn, Esthonia

Apologies for any duplicates received from cross-posting
Executive Director, DataONE
University of New Mexico
1312 Basehart SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Email: ***@***.***
Cell: (505) 382-0890
Fax: (505) 246-6007
---------- Forwarded message ----------
2nd Call for Papers MTSR’17 : 11th International Conference on Metadata and
Semantics Research

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 (