From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)
Plain Language Definition
A Record is a character string or XML fragment that holds data described by a RecordType.

ISO Legend

Possible Parent Elements

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The ISO Standards provide metadata elements and definitions meant to be generic and, therefore, applicable to a variety of data types. It is not unusual for specific data types or data sets to require custom detailed information that is not included in the standard. If the custom elements reflect new concepts, it may be necessary to extend the conceptual model (19115, 19115-1, or 19115-2). These extensions would be implemented in XML using a custom namespace with elements or classes that extend the ISO XML (i.e. 19139) classes.

The ISO Standards include Records and RecordTypes for describing specific implementations of known concepts without extending the conceptual model. These two elements are implemented together with the RecordType providing a description of the data found in the Record. In simple cases with single values, the record type can be added as an xsi:type attribute to the Record element:

<gco:Record xsi:type="gco:Integer_PropertyType">

In more complex situations with multiple values, the RecordType usually references an XML schema element that describes the Record. In this example, the RecordType is a variable defined in the XML schema for ncml (ncml-2.2.xsd). The Record is an instance of a variable that includes the otherAttribute definitions.

 <gco:RecordType xlink:href="[@name='variable'])">netCDF Variable Type</gco:RecordType>
  <gco:Record xlink:href="[@name=MemberName])"> Attributes for variable = memberName in granule = granuleIdentifier</gco:Record>
</gmd: otherAttributeValue>

See Granule Metadata, netCDF, and ISO for more information.