The Completeness Feature is a value-added service in OME that looks at the extent to which you have completed all Mandatory and Mandatory if Applicable fields in Sections 1-7 of the CSDGM. For users who are still working over time on a metadata record, the Completeness Check is a quick way to 'eyeball' from the Dashboard which sections still require attention before the record can be downloaded for review. The Completeness Check is not an absolute measurement, but more of a general health check of the robustness of your record. There will be some cases unique to specific datasets that don't support completion of certain Sections of the CSDGM. Where you don't receive a green checkmark for completion of a certain Section, you should, at minimum, consider if any of the fields in that particular section have relevance for your data.
Why are only Sections 1-7 of CSDGM analyzed for completeness?
Sections 8-10 (Citation Information; Time Period Information; Contact Information) are repeatable arrays that appear nested in various areas within Sections 1-7, so they are not reviewed separately for completeness, but rather included in the Completeness Checks within the first seven sections of the standard.
My record uses the Biological Data Profile, but I don't see a checkmark for the BDP elements. How do I know if those are complete?
The Biological Data Profile adds custom elements, mostly to Sections 1 and 2, of the CSDGM. For those records that are specified as Biological Data Profile (which you did when you either started your new record, or uploaded an existing XML to the OME), the OME is also looking for completion of those BDP elements in Sections 1 and 2, in addition to the 'core' mandatory and mandatory if applicable elements in those Sections. If your record was not declared a BDP record at the outset of your metadata activity, OME will not look for, or expect to find, those BDP elements when performing the Completeness Check on your record.
Why are you looking for a lot of Mandatory if Applicable fields in each section? Shouldn't you just stick to checking for Mandatory fields?
For most data produced within USGS, the 'Mandatory if Applicable' CSDGM fields are, in fact, applicable to those data. The creators of the CSDGM recognized this with the 'mandatory if applicable' designation.; you are expected to complete these fields if they are relevant to your data. To best ensure understanding and potential reuse of our data, we must write metadata that are as robust and descriptive as we can make them. In outlying cases, some sections truly are not applicable; for example, ex-situ data may not have any relevant spatial data organization or reference information, so Sections 3-4 of the standard may not be completed.
What is the relationship between the Completeness Check and actual validation of my record?
The Completeness Check is essentially a health check on your metadata; it gives you analysis and advice, but it doesn't force you to 'take your medicine.' The Completeness Check can be an early warning of potential validation failures, if Mandatory fields are still missing from your metadata. MP will fail your record if Mandatory fields remain incomplete at validation time, and MP's 'error' report in your Download Package will include advisories/alerts that incomplete Mandatory if Applicable fields be reviewed by you and considered for completion.