Data Properties: Metadata as an Economic Good

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05 Dec 2019

Data Properties: Metadata as an Economic Good

Group leading the application: 
Meeting agenda: 


The meeting agenda has four key components:

1. Welcome and Session Goals

  • Around the room introductions
  • Session Leaders Rebecca Koskela (Metadata IG) and Jane Greenberg (Data Economics IG) will share background and objectives of the joint session.

2. Lightning talks (3 minutes each) to seed session discussion

  • Selected representatives from the selected RDA IGs will:

    • Offer a definition of the value of data and metadata

    • Share an approach or potential approach to measuring value that could be applied to metadata.

Participants are being selected from the following IGs:  1) Metadata IG, 2) Data Economics IG, 3) Big Data IG, and 4) Vocabulary Services IG.

3. Session members will break into smaller groups to collaborate on:

  • One or more definitions for the value of data and metadata
  • One or more approaches that may be used (or have been used) for measuring value that could be applied to metadata? 

4. Group report outs. The last 20 minutes of the joint session will include group report-outs and an overall discussion.

Meeting objectives: 

Metadata, as a form of data, is recognized as a valuable asset. Metadata is a cross-cutting theme of the Research Data Alliance (RDA), supporting the global organization's mission to build “the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing and reuse of data,” ( 

Although there is general agreement of metadata as a valuable resource, the means by which organizations and individuals define value and view different types of metadata vary.  These differences point to the need for dialogue across the RDA community, particularly given extend of metadata activities, the many efforts of the Metadata Interest Group (IG), the adoption FAIR (Findable – Accessible – Interoperable – Reusable) principles, and the newly proposed Data Properties as Economic Goods IG (Data Economics IG). 

The overriding goal of the proposed joint meeting is to open dialogue on the topic of metadata as an economic good. The three key objectives are to:

  1. Collectively discuss what ‘defines’ value for data and metadata.  (We will place the discussion in the context of economics--broadly speaking.)

  2. Share approaches to measuring value, and/or ideas for potentially measuring value. (This discussion will address challenges and proven approaches.) 

  3. Consider the topics discussed in the across the RDA, and implications for standards.

The session will be open to all RDA attendees, and bring together members from the Metadata IG, the newly proposed Data Properties as Economic Goods (Data Economics IG), Big Data IG, Vocabulary Services IG, and Research Metadata Schemas WG.

Target Audience: 

Anyone interested in metadata for the objectives of RDA; specifically, people from domain and infrastructure groups wishing to utilize metadata for their purposes. Members of RDA metadata groups other than Metadata IG, Data in Context IG, Metadata Standards Catalog WG,  who are interested in the goals of the various RDA metadata Interest Groups and Working Groups, members of the proposed Data Economics IG, Big Data IG, and Vocabulary Services IG

Short Group Status: 

The Metadata IG is a recognized and endorsed group. The Metadata IG is an active group with ongoing activities.  The Data Economics IG (IG-DE) is in the process of updating it’s Charter based on the TAB comments. The major focus of the comments is to better express and define economical aspects involving economist researchers. The IG-DE continues consolidating interested communities and individuals interested in  and able to contribute to the group's activities and deliverables.

Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group(s): 

The Metadata Interest Group serves as an umbrella group for all aspects of metadata for research data. In particular, it coordinates the efforts of the Working Groups concerned with metadata to provide a coherent approach to metadata. The  Metadata Interest Group also is responsible for defining the metadata element set intended to become a RDA recommendation. Data in Context Interest Group deals with use cases and harmonizing terminology for contextual metadata to encourage interoperation. The Metadata Standards Catalog Working Group maintains a machine-readable catalog of metadata standards to encourage re-use and increased harmonization among the communities.

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2):