Metadata Considerations - Sky Bristol, 9/8/2010

An understanding of metadata standards and profiles is critical to a successful distributed cataloging strategy that will result in useful client applications of the technology. CSW servers can return any number of metadata standards in a search or harvest operation, and applications written to use the CSW service methods need to "know" what they are getting in a few key areas. Some policies may need to be put in place across instances of the technology stack so that there are general rules of the road that everyone understands.

For instance, we may want to specify that every metadata record returned by CSW is identified with a universally unique identifier (UUID) so that search and harvest operations can tease out duplicates. In this same vein, we may want metadata from CSW servers to support some search criteria or server configuration that will serve only the unique records that call that particular instance "home" as opposed to other records that may be harvested onto that server. If vocabularies of terms are important to a particular collection of metadata and applications that use those metadata, we may want to specify that controlled vocabulary sources be identified to a particular registry in a particular way so that the authorities can be understood by any application.

All of these considerations may provide a useful focus for the Metadata Team.