Data in Context IG


Group details

Case Statement: 
IG Established

Research is a global ecosystem employing multiple stakeholders. The UK Digital Curation Center (DCC) developed a lifecycle approach to manage data – encompassing both a linear sequence of work stages as well as the cyclic repetition of specific tasks. It recognizes conceptualization, creation, access and usage, appraisal and selection, disposal, ingestion, preservation, reappraisal, storage, access and reuse, transformation as the elements to constitute this cycle [i]. This and other lifecycle models [ii] conceptualize data related workflows, and behind each element, we anticipate at least a data producer and a data consumer to have a need or a problem to solve, e.g. a requirement; to hence define the boundaries of a particular context or request within the data management life-cycle.

Furthermore, we anticipate the need for documentation of the evolution of the data asset behind each element through re-usable contextual ‘profiles’ applicable upon various datasets if standardized; i.e. constituted by (1) standardized open vocabularies, upon (2) standardized formal data profiles and (3) standardized formal semantics.

A profile will (a) assist in retrieval precision and recall (including disambiguation); (b) provide information to assist the user in judging the relevance and quality of the data asset; (c) provide additional information that may be used in processing the dataset; (d) provide information that assists in explaining the dataset (purpose, relationship to persons, organisations, facilities, equipment, publications etc).

With this working group for each of the three dimensions, we want to investigate:

  • contextually or subcontextually-aware standardization work [iii];
  • re-usable priority requirements [iv];

in order to deliver:

  • an overview of contextually aware standardization work;
  • a priority list of data management requirements for contextual metadata leading to a defined programme of work.

The results of the investigation will support with preparations towards the constitution of a RDA Working Group to implement the selected priority requirements, i.e. ‘profiles’ in a standardized way at all three levels, which in a further step may aim at automation of transformation between available formal data standards.

The idea "Contextual Metadata" has first been presented at the first RDA plenary in Gothenburg (March 2013) towards setting up a working group, but is now first intended to start as a RDA Interest Group.

We want to strongly collaborate and exchange ideas with related Working Groups in a coordinated way - namely:


Metadata Principles - Created and endorsed by all the RDA metadata groups


Current Activity

RDA Plenary 11 Joint Meeting: IG Metadata, IG Data in Context, WG Metadata Standards Catalog

Wednesday March 21 Breakout 2 – 14:30 – 16:00

Room A08 – Remote Participation


Meeting objectives

  1. Present the Metadata Standards Catalog and encourage further submissions;
  2. Promote discussion of the proposed metadata element set;
  3. Promote discussion and propose a process for
    • collecting domain vocabularies;
    • matching and mapping vocabularies;
    • establishing a canonical vocabulary to assist interoperation by crosswalks to the domain vocabularies;
    • contextual metadata used for assessing relevance and quality of the described asset for the purpose of the end-user;
  4. Ensure coordination among the metadata groups and representatives of domain (subject area) groups and other infrastructure groups attending.

Meeting agenda

  1. Introduction and purpose
  2. Metadata Standards Catalog (20 min)
    • Presentation
    • Request for further contributions for the Metadata Standards Catalog
  3. Metadata element set (10 min)
    • Presentation
    • Discussion
  4. Vocabularies Process (45 min)
    • Wheat: Windpouire-Esther Dzale-Yeumo (INRA)
    • Marine: Helen Glaves (British Geological Survey)
    • Social Science: Darren Bell (UKDA)
    • Vocabularies process discussion
  5. Closing, pointing to metadata resources on RDA website (10 min)


Use Case Analysis

We are collecting use cases (together with the other metadata groups of RDA). Please download the Use Case template from the File Repostory and  follow the instructions (top row) of where to send when completed.

The initial use case Analysis was presented in Session 9 joint meeting of all the metadata groups at Plenary 6 in Paris. Below are some revised slides based on the feedback from that meeting and the master use case spreadsheet showing the process.


More information to be found in the Wiki.

[i] DCC Ditigal Curation Lifecycle.

[ii] DDI-Lifecycle, Data Asset Framework, Data Curation Profile, etc.


[iv] e.g. in EU, US (e.g. in Horizon2020, NIH, NSF, etc. funding programmes), ... South Americas, etc.


Last modified: October 21, 2014

Recent Activity

16 Jun 2019

MTSR2019 - Deadline extension for submissions

Metadata and Semantics Research conference
Rome 2019
*2nd Call for Papers*
*MTSR 2019: 13th International Conference on Metadata and Semantics
The *13th International Conference on Metadata and Semantics Research *(MTSR
2019) will be held at the Marconi University in Rome, Italy on *October
28th –31st, 2019*.
*Important Dates*
*Deadline Extension*
- *July 1st, 2019: New Submission deadline (Full and Short papers)*

16 May 2019

Plenary 14: Call for Sessions, Collocated Events, Posters and Registration Now Open!

Taking place from 23-25 October 2019, the 14th RDA Plenary will take place in Dipoli, the nature-immersed building of Aalto University, Helsinki, in Finland, “one of the happiest countries in the world”, states Per Öster, CSC-IT Center For Science Director and Co-Chair of the P14 Programme Committee.


24 Apr 2019

Group co-chair position

Dear group members,
We ran out of time for a discussion on the future of this group at P13. Is
someone interested in becoming co-chair of this group and reinvigorating
the group?
I'd be happy to answer any questions on what is involved.
Executive Director, DataONE
University of New Mexico
1312 Basehart SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Email: ***@***.***
Cell: (505) 382-0890
Fax: (505) 246-6007

31 Mar 2019

Metadata Joint Meeting at RDA P13

*Joint Session Metadata IG, Metadata Standards Catalog WG, Data in Context
*Thursday, April 5, 2019*
*Breakout 8 1100-1230 EDT*
*Collaborative session notes*:
*Short introduction describing the scope of the groups and if any previous
The Metadata Interest Group serves as an umbrella group for all aspects of

16 Feb 2019

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 4 MARCH - Call for Papers, Drexel-CODATA FAIR and Responsible Research Data Management Workshop, 31 March-1 April

Following a number of requests and understanding the many pressure of
potential participants’ time, the Programme Committee of the Drexel-CODATA
FAIR and Responsible Research Data Management Workshop

19 Mar 2018

Re: [rda-metadata-ig][rda-datacontext-ig][mscwg] Metadata IG Sessions at RDA P11 in Berlin

Yes, it does sound like the groups are addressing similar topics. I (and
perhaps Keith Jeffery) will join the the BoF during
session 3 to understand what extensions which interest that group. The DXWG
of W3C is considering improvements to DCAT. Keith Jeffery will be
presenting the issues in session 8 on Friday. It would be interesting to
see if the extensions of interest to
the BoF are already being considered by the W3C DXWG and we invite you to
session 8 on Friday.
Executive Director, DataONE

19 Mar 2018

RE: [rda-metadata-ig][rda-datacontext-ig][mscwg] Metadata IG Sessions at RDA P11 in Berlin

Dear Rebecca,
I just noticed a common objectives between the BoF meeting “Improving the FAIRness of scientific data with DCAT-AP “ and the join meeting of IG Metadata, WG Data Type Registries
Both the BoF and the join meeting targets to improve DCAT.
Please see the statement:

19 Mar 2018

RE: [rda-metadata-ig][rda-datacontext-ig][mscwg] Metadata IG Sessions at RDA P11 in Berlin

Dear Rebecca,
I just noticed a common objectives between the BoF meeting “Improving the FAIRness of scientific data with DCAT-AP “ and the join meeting of IG Metadata, WG Data Type Registries
Both the BoF and the join meeting targets to improve DCAT.
Please see the statement: