Survey of Current Practices for Discovery of Research Data in Repositories

As part of the activities of the Long-Tail of Research Data Interest Group, we are conducting a short survey of discovery practices for research data repositories. The survey targets repositories that collect so-called "long tail" of research data, broadly defined as research data that does not fall within the scope of discipline-based or government repositories.

As noted by the Australian National Data Service, “Good quality, accurate and current metadata renders research data more useful and accessible over the longer term”. (

However, there are particular challenges involved with making long-tail research data discoverable. By its very nature, they can be extremely diverse in formats, disciplines, and levels of adoption of standards, making them very difficult to describe and expose in a standardized way. In addition, anecdotal information indicates that there are wide ranging practices in terms of metadata schemas.

The purpose of this short 10-minute survey is to gain a better understanding of current practices in the area of discoverability for long tail research data.

International participation is critical! We want to know about practices from repositories around the world.

If you are working with this type of repository, please take a few minutes to fill out the survey:

Survey results will be presented at the March 2014 RDA meeting in Dublin, Ireland and made available on the RDA Long Tail of Research Data Web Pages:

The survey will be open until March 7, 2014.

Special thanks to Najla Rettberg (co-chair), Chuck Humphrey, Stephen Marks, Jochen Schirrwagen, and Birgit Schmidt for their invaluable support in putting this survey together.