While the procedure for a design effort is standardized — define the requirements, design and develop, and implement — the specific requirements and subsequent designs will vary depending on the needs of the user(s). Metadata requirements are no exception, as different communities will have disparate requirements. Thus historically, metadata content has been approached in a variety of ways depending on the needs of specific user communities; and resulted in the development of multiple, diverse metadata “dialects.” Consequently, sharing data outside specific user communities is hindered by interoperability challenges.
In order to facilitate discoverability/accessibility, usability, understandability, and interoperability of data across disciplines with differing requirements, the gap between the needs/requirements of the provider community and the needs/requirements of other communities must be bridged.
Recall that recommendations are the metadata concepts (elements) that are required, recommended, or suggested for a particular documentation need. This section provides documentation recommendations for a variety of metadata purposes. Included in each documentation recommendation on the following pages is: 1) Recommendation concepts with a brief description thereof, and, 2) a list of XPaths for each concept that best bridges the gap to other dialects. Thus, the recommendations specify both the “what” (concepts) as well as the “how” (XPaths)– which enables the user to get from the needs of a provider community (dialect X) to the needs of other communities (dialect W, Y, Z, etc.). Therefore, through use of these recommendations, data can become available to a significantly larger pool of users.
On the following pages, the various recommendations are subdivided into four categories consisting of Discoverability/Accessibility, Usability, Understandability, and UMM Concepts. This arrangement was intended to highlight the areas that will establish and improve interoperability.