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Research Data Services: Metadata Standards

Other Useful Resources

Metadata Standards for Earth Science Data

In the United States, use of CSDGM for digital geospatial metadata is required by all federal agencies, along with programs and projects using federal funding. The Federal Geographic Data Committee is currently doing work on a North American Profile for ISO 19115 for Geospatial Metadata (which may integrate with ISO 19136 for Geography Information) in order for the United States to meet the international standard. ISO/TC 211 for Geographic Information and Geomatic Standards has a useful guide as well.

Metadata Standards for Life Science Data

The Ecological Metadata Language focuses on helping researchers properly document data-related metadata in the ecological sciences, from geographic information to methodologies used. Darwin Core is a modification of Dublin Core that supports metadata information about biodiversity, primarily based on biological taxonomies. Access to Biological Collection Data provides a framework for accessing and sharing information about specimens, observations, and other biodiversity data. The Genomic Standards Consortium has members across the world and supports standardization of genomic data sets. Marine Metadata Interoperability provides an interoperable, semantic framework for marine data.

Metadata Standards for Physics and Astronomy

CSDGM is required by all federal agenices, along with programs and projects using federal funding, for digital geospatial data. This may apply to some datasets in the physics and astronomy community. Another standard, Astronomy Visualization Metadata, provides metadata for astronomy images. The FITS documentation has been included for completeness. Directory Interchange Format is used by NASA to increase interoperability between its datasets.

Social Sciences and Humanities Standards

Encoded Archival Description and Categories for the Description of Works of Art are best-suited for social sciences producing archival materials as part of their data (i.e., anthropology/archeology), whereas the Data Documentation Initiative is often more suitable for social, behavioral, and economic disciplines.