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Meta-model : ensuring the widespread access to metadata and data for environmental models : scoping report

Hughes, A.G.; Harpham, Q.K.; Riddick, A.T.; Royse, K.R.; Singh, A.. 2013 Meta-model : ensuring the widespread access to metadata and data for environmental models : scoping report. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 39pp. (OR/13/042) (Unpublished)

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Abstract/Summary

This work is a response to the challenge posed by the NERC Environmental Data call, and is designed to scope out how to meet the following objectives: 1. Ensure that the data used to create models are recorded and their source known. 2. The models produced are themselves available. 3. The results produced by these models can be obtained. To scope out how to fulfil these objectives a series of visits, phone calls and meetings were undertaken, alongside a Survey Monkey (on-line) questionnaire. The latter involved sending out a request to fill out the questionnaire to over three hundred contacts from institutions covering the UK, Europe and America, of which 106 responded. The responses have been analysed in conjunction with the information gained from other sources. There are a significant number of standards for both discovery and technical metadata. There are also a range of services by which metadata can be recorded and the data stored alongside these data. NERC itself puts a significant amount of effort into storing data and model results and making the metadata available. For example there are seven Data Centres and the Data Catalogue Service (DCS) to search metadata for datasets stored in the NERC data centres. Whilst there has been a significant amount of time and effort put into standards, the use is variable. There are a number of different standards, which are mainly related to ISO standards, WaterML, GEMINI, MEDIN, climate based standards as well as bespoke standards for data, but there is a lack of formal standards for model metadata. Storage of data and its associated metadata is facilitated via the NERC data centres with a reasonable uptake. Whilst the standards and approaches for discovery and technical metadata for data are well advanced and, in theory, well used there are a number of issues:  Recognition of what the user wants rather than what the data manager feels is required.  Consolidation of discovery metadata schema based on ISO19115  Recording different file formats and tools to allow ease of transfer from different file formats  Retrospective capture of metadata for data and models  Incorporation of time based information into metadata However for model metadata, the situation is less well advanced. There is no internationally recognised standard for model metadata, and one should be developed to include features such as: model code and version; code guardian contact details; Links to further information (URL to papers, manuals, etc.); details on how to run the models, etc.; spatial extent of the model instance. Other considerations include: an assessment of data quality and uncertainty needs to be recorded to enable model uncertainty to be quantified and there is the issue of storage of the models themselves. The latter could either be the model code (via standard repositories) or the executable. These gaps could be filled by a work programme that would consist of the development of a metadata standard for models, a portal for the recording and supply of these metadata, testing this with appropriate user organisations and liaising with international standards organisation to ensure that the development could be recognised. The results of the whole process should be disseminated through as many channels as possible.

Item Type: Publication - Report (UNSPECIFIED)
Funders/Sponsors: NERC
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item has been internally reviewed but not externally peer-reviewed
Date made live: 13 Feb 2014 15:09 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/504868

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