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Making metadata be FAIR, in particular enhancing the ‘R’? – The Approach of the Australian Metadata Working Group.
  • Irina Bastrakova,
  • Kelsey Druken
Irina Bastrakova
Geoscience Australia

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Kelsey Druken
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Any catalogue describing objects will contain metadata: such systems are built to improve findability (F) and accessibility (A). However, a content rich metadata framework, carefully developed by communities with broad interests, can also ensure an interoperability (I) and re-usability (R) of described objects. The Australian Metadata Working Group (MDWG), supported by the Australian and New Zealand Land Information Council and Intergovernmental Committee for Surveying and Mapping, is building one of these FAIR frameworks. The group comprises of federal and jurisdictional governments, research organisations and academia which provides a wide spectrum of use cases of multi-disciplinary community needs. The MDWG recognises multiple aspects of reusability to ensure consistent adoption of the Australian Metadata Profile based on the ISO 19115-1 standard including: Reusability of content: defining a list of elements to ensure content-rich self-describing metadata that can be interpreted by both humans and machines to: capture data dictionaries to enable dataset reconstruction record technical details for services to ensure their correct usage and associated code reuse understand resource quality and provenance to ensure its correct usage specify licence and security conditions to understand preventing the reuse factors consistent reuse of existing community vocabularies (or develop and openly publish new for reuse by others) record resource formats to support access to resources Reusability of the Australian Metadata Profile through publishing its model and XML to ensure consistent adoption of metadata patterns: developing XML examples building user guides and other communication materials Reusability of tools and their deployment: investigation and testing metadata creation, publishing and validation tools, sharing tricks and lessons learnt The MDWG has successfully delivered reusable tools, a consistent profile and user guide plus defined metadata elements with clear purposes. The wealth of combined expertise, sharing of resources and technical support also provided the first example of the ISO 19115-1 standard adoption and re-use of metadata tools, thus, providing great savings to organisations in developing and implementation time and budget.