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USGS will soon transition to the international metadata standards known collectively as ISO 19115. The open-ended nature of ISO provides much greater flexibility and vocabulary to describe research products; however, that flexibility means few constraints that can guide authors and ensure standardized, robust documentation across the Bureau. In FY18, CDI funded the ISO Content Specifications project to host a workshop to create a suite of modular specifications that would support the vast array of USGS data products. These modules are: Basic (descriptive metadata common to all USGS data), Biological, Lineage and Geospatial. Utilized together, these content specification modules can create a compliant, descriptive metadata record. The team created an implied mapping to the ISO standard by crosswalking the content specifications to the ADIwg mdJSON schema, enabling creation of custom schemas and editor profiles that govern metadata validation rules and customize the user interface in the mdEditor authoring tool. Users will see only the elements specified by the content specification modules applied, streamlining metadata entry and guiding authors on content while ensuring robust, standardized USGS metadata. Perhaps most importantly, authors do not have to understand the intricacies of the ISO standard to write compliant metadata.

Science Support Framework Category: Data Management

Author(s): Dennis Walworth ( - USGS Alaska Science Center, Fran Lightsom ( - USGS Woods Hole Science Center, Tara Bell ( - USGS Great Lakes Science Center, Josh Bradley ( - USFWS Arctic Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Sophie Hou ( - National Center for Atmospheric Research, Andrew LaMotte ( - USGS Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Water Science Center, Lisa Zolly ( - USGS Science Analytics & Synthesis Program