Designing metadata schemes

Research Data Management Support assists researchers and research groups in setting up the process of data description or metadata schemes. 

The importance of standardised terminology

To make scientific data usable in multiple contexts of research, the interpretation of terms used should be unambiguous. That is to say researchers from various disciplines should use corresponding terminology for corresponding attributes. An important positive side effect of uniformity of terminology is that valuable research data becomes better findable online. And this is an important prerequisite for reuse of scientific data. In short: standardised terminology links data and maximises data impact, which is an important principle in open science.

An example is earth science research: to be able to adequately act in the case of major natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis, scientists need to have knowledge of the causes of complex processes that occur in the earth's crust. To gain necessary insights, data from different research fields are combined. This is only possible if researchers from different applicable sub-disciplines 'speak the same language'.

Otto Lange
Research Data Management Support

An example

RDM Support participated in the process of determining the metadata scheme within earth sciences. We supervised the process of realisation and advised in a broader context (interoperability, repositories, vocabularies, DMP's, etc.). Together with researchers, in interactive sessions, we found out about available standards and determined what the metadata should look like. We drew up use cases together to determine how other researchers would like to see datasets disclosed and described. Different aspects of the FAIR acronym (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) were discussed and at the end of the journey, we determined what needs to be recorded.

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