What Metadata Principles Apply to Scientific Data?

Friday, 19 December 2014
Matthew S. Mayernik, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States
Information researchers and professionals based in the library and information science fields often approach their work through developing and applying defined sets of principles. For example, for over 100 years, the evolution of library cataloging practice has largely been driven by debates (which are still ongoing) about the fundamental principles of cataloging and how those principles should manifest in rules for cataloging. Similarly, the development of archival research and practices over the past century has proceeded hand-in-hand with the emergence of principles of archival arrangement and description, such as maintaining the original order of records and documenting provenance.

This project examines principles related to the creation of metadata for scientific data. The presentation will outline: 1) how understandings and implementations of metadata can range broadly depending on the institutional context, and 2) how metadata principles developed by the library and information science community might apply to metadata developments for scientific data. The development and formalization of such principles would contribute to the development of metadata practices and standards in a wide range of institutions, including data repositories, libraries, and research centers. Shared metadata principles would potentially be useful in streamlining data discovery and integration, and would also benefit the growing efforts to formalize data curation education.