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Metadata: Standards

Library resource for learning about metadata and its practical application

Metadata Policies and Guidelines at UNC

When depositing your metadata, it is important to glance through any policies and guidelines that may exist for the repository.

Metadata Standards

Metadata standards   

Metadata Content Standard: A Standard that defines elements users can expect to find in metadata and the names and meaning of those elements. 

Metadata Format Standard: A Standard that defines the structures and formats used to represent or encode elements from a content standard.

Metadata Element Sets
  • DublinCore (DC) Metadata Element Set is a generic set of 15 properties for describing a wide range of resources. It is the most common metadata schema for web content
  • Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) is a descriptive standard used to describe a variety of types of resources; it is maintained by the Library of Congress.

Resources for Finding Metadata Standards

  • Research Data Alliance Metadata Directory - The RDA Metadata Directory is a collaborative, open directory of metadata standards applicable to scientific data. Subject areas include arts and humanities, engineering, life sciences, physical sciences & mathematics, social & behavioral sciences, and general research data (multidisciplinary).
  • Linked Open Vocabularies (LOV) - LOV provides a searchable repository of vocabularies and ontologies used to describe many different disciplines and domains.
  • Data Documentation Initiative - DDI is an international standard for describing statistical and social science data. It contains a metadata specification, as well as a list of tools to help researchers work with DDI metadata.
  • FAIRsharing - FAIRsharing (formerly BioSharing) offers a searchable database of metadata standards, markup languages, taxonomies, and other resources for all disciplines.
  • BioPortal - BioPortal offers an extensive repository of biomedical ontologies, including a recommender tool to help choose the best ontology for your research.
  • Open Metadata Registry - The Metadata Registry provides services to developers and consumers of controlled vocabularies and is one of the first production deployments of the RDF-based Semantic Web Community's Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS).

Further Reading & Training