Understanding Metadata in the Earth Sciences Community

Week 3

June 25, 2012: Taking a look at metadata standards used by the Earth sciences community towards developing the DMPtool Kit

In constructing my DMPtool Kit, I definitely think its important and necessary to have a section about metadata standards that might be good choices for researchers working within the Earth Sciences.  So today I spent some time going over some possible standards to include in the kit.

Darwin Core (http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/)- taken from this website, “The Darwin Core standard was originally conceived to facilitate the discovery, retrieval, and integration of information about modern biological specimens, their spatiotemporal occurrence, and their supporting evidence housed in collections.” Darwin Core, much like that which it is based on–Dublin Core– uses terms to describe the object (or dataset) such as: occurrence, Event, Location, taxon, preservedSpecimen, FossilSpecimen, LivingSpecimen, HumanObservation, MachineObservation, Nomenclatural checklist. Though on the website and other resources that help to describe and promote the use of this standard go into detail about what these terms mean, many of them do not seem to easily self-explanatory.  I am not sure if this is a problem for a metadata standard.

EML (Ecological Mark-Up Language- http://knb.ecoinformatics.org/software/eml/)- Is used and developed by the ecology discipline.  It is implemented as a series of XM documents.  Its modular in that it uses EML modules or wrappers which are based on that which is being described.  For example, the dataset module would be used to describe a dataset.  According to this website cited above, “each EML module is designed to describe one logical part of hte total metadata that should be included with any ecological dataset.”  EML is open source and allows for automated machine processing, searching and retrieval of data. The basic information included in the dataset module is: title, abstract, keywords, contacts, maintenance, history, purpose & distribution of data

Others that might be useful to include in the ‘kit’?  I’ve been trying to navigate the FGDC and CSGDM website, but I can’t tell if they actually have a geospatial metadata standard or its more like a group which promotes the use of geospatial metadata standards and advocates for data sharing and discoverability? At any rate, I think that the FDGC would also be a good organization to talk to in terms of making the DMP tool more visible.




FGDC: http://www.fgdc.gov/metadata

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