Recommendations for metadata content to describe geoscience resources

Now that we have a better grasp of the IT and informatics challenges of a distributed and interoperable information network, we can think more again about its adoption - how to make it work and useful on the ground. Following was our rough chain of thought on metadata:

We decided on prototyping a "generic minimum metadata wizard" that stores minimum useful metadata in a format agnostic data model which allows one to export (download/services) the conceptual metadata records into any number of arbitrarily formatted metadata files. The minimum metadata requirements are designed to balance the need for on-line, interoperable metadata discovery and distribution with the cost of generating digital metadata. In order to effectively advertise the USGIN partner's resources, metadata records must accomplish three major goals:

  1. Describe the digital or physical resource or service.
  2. Credit the owner, author, originator, or responsible party of the resource.
  3. Provide access information to the described resource.

Following is our latest stab at the conceptual metadata model which is based on Dublin Core and is expanded according to practical needs.

Conceptual Minimum Metadata Fields

Key: Groupings; required, conditional, and optional metadata fields; (number of values that can be specified).