Discussions of metadata standards for organizing, exchanging and preserving metadata no longer focus on the value of supporting such standards or which one standard should be used. The focus is now on how standards interact, supporting varieties of search systems as well as the movement of metadata and data through different standards to support specialized use of the content. Discussion now focuses on a suite of standards addressing different types of data at different points in their lifecycles, being captured and processed for different purposes. Data collection processes described in the Generic Statistical Business Process Model (GSBPM), may capture metadata using the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI), process their microdata into statistical tables and distribute it using the Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX). As this output moves into digital libraries it may be placed inside a Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS) wrapper for exchange within that system, searched via a Dublin Core browser, or have preservation metadata added to it. Others working in a geospatial environment may then selectively transport data and metadata into related geospatial metadata (ISO/IEC 19115 based).
The purpose of this paper is to map out a region within the area of official metadata and statistics where standards need to interact to support the process of data design, capture, analysis, and dissemination within and between related domains. The “IAOS Conference on Official Statistics and the Environment: approaches, issues, challenges and linkages”, in Santiago, Chile October 2010, highlighted the need to relate data from the traditional areas of official statistics (social, economic, labor, health and financial data) to areas of environmental, climate, oceanographic, land use and related data. Many of these areas have developed standards for capturing metadata in structures that support analysis within their domains. As expanded analysis crosses these domain lines, smoothly interacting metadata standards will improve understanding and accurate use of data from related domains. Understanding the critical points of interaction between major standards will be the key to improving the analysis of data in the public sector.
Bargmeyer, Bruce E., Daniel W. Gillman, “IAOS Conference on Official Statistics and the Environment: approaches, issues, challenges and linkages”, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, DC 20212 http://www.bls.gov/ore/pdf/st000010.pdf
Gregory, Arofan, Pascal Heus.“IAOS Conference on Official Statistics and the Environment: approaches, issues, challenges and linkages”, Open Data Foundation Paper, July 2007. http://odaf.org/papers/DDI_and_SDMX.pdf
Gregory, Arofan, Pascal Heus, Jostein Ryssevik,“IAOS Conference on Official Statistics and the Environment: approaches, issues, challenges and linkages”, Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD), Working Paper 57, March 2009 http://www.ratswd.de/download/workingpapers2009
Vardigan, Mary, Pascal Heus, Wendy Thomas. “IAOS Conference on Official Statistics and the Environment: approaches, issues, challenges and linkages” The International Journal of Digital Curation 3, 1 (2008).
Keywords: Metadata standards; Data access; Official statistics
Biography: Wendy Thomas serves as the Data Archivist in the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota. In this role she provide support in locating and linking data from a variety of sources to academic, governmental, and other researchers. In addition, she manages the documentation collection for IPUMS-International, the Integrated Public Use Microdata System for over 150 censuses world-wide. For the past seven years, Ms. Thomas has served as the chair of the Technical Implementation Committee of the DDI Alliance, developing a major metadata standard in the area of social, behavioral and economic sciences. Thomas is a former president of the United States Association of Public Data users and has recently completed a project with the World Bank and PARIS21 to translate the documentation of over 100 census files into DDI to facilitate access to data using the IHSN Microdata Toolkit provided by the World Bank.