Caryn Neiswender

Dictionary (Flat Vocabulary)

Definition, description, and example of a dictionary

Flat Vocabularies Multi -Level Vocabularies Relational Vocabularies
Authority File

Code List (Flat Vocabulary)

Definition, description and example of a code list

Flat Vocabularies Multi -Level Vocabularies Relational Vocabularies
Authority File

Authority File (Flat Vocabulary)

Definition, description of authority files

Flat VocabulariesA managed list of acceptable metadata terms that associates acceptable values with particular metadata elements.

Technical Tools

Creating metadata can be a challenging task. Fortunately there are a variety of tools to assist with such tasks as creating metadata, editing metadata, and crosswalking between different standards and ontologies.

A set of guides about metadata tools has been identified as desired by MMI readers. MMI is a community effort. If you would like to help with organizing and writing guides about metadata-related tools, please let us know.

Metadata Standards

A metadata standard is a model for metadata storage that is approved by a recognized standards organization, such as ISO or FGDC. Metadata standards specify the kinds of information required to describe data. When a metadata document conforms to a standard, it is considered formal metadata. Standards can provide very specific information about details such as values to be provided and how to technically present the metadata.

Metadata standards can be of either or both of these two general types:

Introduction to Metadata

The most common definition of metadata is that metadata are data about data. Metadata describe the who, what, when, where and how of a resource. Implicit in this definition is the purpose of metadata: to attach information to data, so they can be discovered and used. See the guide, Definition of Metadata for a more detailed description of this term.

In today’s research environment, creation of metadata is becoming a requirement for practical use of research observations and results. You need metadata if you want to

Introduction to Metadata Interoperability

Metadata interoperability is the ability of two or more information systems to exchange metadata with minimal loss of information. This does not address data compatibility—only interoperability of descriptive metadata.

Machine Readability

Metadata provide important information about a data resource. In theory, this information can be provided in many forms. For instance, the methods section of a scientific journal paper can be considered metadata.

Case Studies

DIGARCH Cruise Harvest

Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) project to archive cruise data in an interoperable environment, using tools developed at SIO

Controlled Vocabularies (CV) for Metadata Harvesting

Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) experience using database technology to harvest and correct erroneous metadata

Getting Started - How You Can Publish Your Metadata

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to metadata. This guide is an overview of the steps in the metadata creation process from initial planning through publication in a metadata registry or repository. Even if your ultimate goal is not to publish your metadata, the initial steps below will still be relevant for planning your in-house metadata. 

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