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Towards Tools and Guidance for Creating and Handling Structured Metadata

12 FEB 2024

Collaborative session notes

Group(s) submitting the application: 

Metadata IG

Meeting objectives: 

Structured metadata with formal syntax and declared semantics is necessary to capitalize on the wealth of research data being created, and to drive innovative reuse. But creating it can involve a steep learning curve, and involves a significant cost of time and effort to balance against the longer-term benefits. This meeting explores what might be done to better connect researchers with the tools and guidance they need to develop their skills and understanding for metadata-related tasks. The discussions held will inform the future direction of the group and its outputs, including the Metadata Element Set and the RDA Metadata Standards Catalog.

Meeting agenda: 

Target Audience: 

All RDA colleagues interested in documenting, integrating or interoperating datasets as well as metadata and metadata schema specialists.

Group chair serving as contact person: 

Alex Ball

Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

The Metadata Interest Group (MIG) is supported by individuals and organizations involved in the development, implementation, and use of metadata for scientific data.  MIG’s chief objective is to identify and endorse metadata solutions for addressing data management challenges. Metadata is crucial for the discovery, access, preservation, exchange, manipulation, and use/reuse of research data.

Metadata discussions frequently focus on community-specific issues such as discipline-specific standards; however, there are dimensions of metadata that are of general interest, cross disciplines and are amenable to broad community input. MIG endorses metadata solutions that balance domain-specific and interdisciplinary needs.

MIG has proposed metadata ‘packages’ for the commonly required purposes; a ‘package’ consists of elements (attributes or data structures) the values of which relate to the unique identity of the dataset or record (instance). To assure machine processing a formal syntax and declared semantics are required, and the packages must exhibit referential and functional integrity as well as human readability. This Metadata Element Set is intended to become an RDA recommendation.

At previous plenaries, MIG has reached out to other RDA Interest Groups and Working Groups where metadata is important to the goals of their group. The element set has been shared with and reviewed by many of the RDA domain groups.

Short Group Status: 

The Metadata Interest Group (MIG) was established in 2013 and has created two successful working groups, the Metadata Standards Directory WG and the Metadata Standards Catalog WG. MIG serves as an umbrella group for all aspects of metadata for research data. In particular, it coordinates the efforts of the Working Groups concerned with metadata to provide a coherent approach to metadata.

Type of Meeting: 

Working meeting

Additional links to informative material: 

Meeting presenters: 

Alex Ball, Milan Ojsteršek, Steve M. Richard

Contact for group (email):

Please indicate at least (3) three breakout slots that would suit your meeting.: 

Are you willing to host a second, repeat, session at a different time zone?: