Proposal: Working Group Contextual Metadata


February  2013
Case Statement:
With massively growing amounts of data, metadata have gained increasing importance. Not always is the value of metadata itself appropriately acknowledged, and there are different notions of metadata; what is counted as data and what as metadata also varies. The curation of metadata is expected to contribute to improvements in information quality and reliability, and also to managing access and thus openness of the underlying data. Increasingly, it becomes clear that getting an overview about data collections in the age of “big data” is crucial in every advanced information management environment (see e.g. COST [1]). This working group focuses on “contextual metadata” (see e.g. [10]), and will start its activities by anticipating a particular set of viewpoints or use cases from within different scientific domains. In fact, we consider such viewpoints the most valuable starting point from which to define or span the range or emerging context of a used object (e.g. a dataset) around which the contextual metadata converge in a semantically meaningful way. The group will thus also investigate available metadata approaches such as e.g. PROV [2], PREMIS [3], MARC [4], CKAN [5], DCAT [6], CERIF [7], CASRAI [8], VIVO [9]. We imagine contextual metadata as model-driven, re-usable use-case-driven and thus object-centred, described by a formal syntax (for ease of computer processing) and declared semantics through controlled vocabularies, and including term inter-relationships (ontology). The use cases will guide discussions – where the models identify the formal objects and underpin the formal context or relationships in support of an overall understanding and embedding of the object itself and the contextual metadata emerging from within its use case. 
For setting up the use-cases, we will depart from past and current work in projects dealing with requirements, standards, data representation, data interoperability and semantic descriptions.  
Use Cases:
Output-Reporting to Funders 
Exchange of Information on Research Activity between Universities
Management of the Research portfolio of a University by a Research Manager
Discovery and Re-use of Datasets for other Purposes
WG Charter: 
The Working Group for Contextual Metadata starting from agreed use-cases will:
(1) Investigate requirements looking at national and international initiatives
(2) Investigate corresponding formal means (e.g. applied forms or standards)
(3) Prepare a survey template upon (1) and (2)
(4) Normalize the acquired contextual metadata vocabularies (1), (2), (3)
(5) Model each case context (use-case) formally
(6) Investigate existing modeling languages
(7) Map formal case models with most applied formal means
Value Proposition:
A Working Group for Contextual Metadata upon agreed use-cases will provide a:
Comparison/Overview of approaches 
Profile templates for re-use with future analyses
Harmonized, bottom up-driven contextual vocabularies 
Formal contextual use-case-driven descriptions
Formal mappings
The outputs of the work will be available for wider application, where especially the formal descriptions, mappings and vocabularies will be encouraged for re-use and wider distribution, i.e. evaluation and improvements.
Engagement with existing work in the area:
The investigation of requirements and applied formal means will provide a comparison of different approaches, and thus engage with existing work through harmonization and mappings.
In particular the group will interact with any other working groups under RDA concerned with metadata towards building an architectural model for contextual understanding and processing.  
Additionally the working group will interact with relevant standardization bodies including W3C, ISO, the European Commission (and its supported research projects) and the wider ICT community.
Work Plan: 
A Birds of Feather (BoF) session has been put forward for the Gothenburg plenary, where the plan is to get feedback and thus decide upon the most feasible use-cases, i.e. define the range (number) of the use-cases, depending on existing materials, willing experts contributions, expertise of contributing working group members.
Months / Deliverables / Milestones:
M4: Use-case-based Requirements Overview Documents
M8: Use-case-based Profile Templates 
M12: Use-case-based selected (normalised) Contextual Metadata Vocabulary
M15: Use-case-based contextual Formal Application Profiles in different formats
M18: Mappings with most frequent Formats
Milestone 1: Normalised Contextual Metadata Vocabularies following Use-Cases
Milestone 2: Formal Contextual Use-Case Profiles and Mappings
Adoption Plan:
Following the feedback and discussions as well as interaction with related Working Groups in the BoF session in Gothenburg, an adoption plan will be presented. 
Initial Membership: 
Brigitte Jörg (Chair), UKOLN, University of Bath
Jon Corson-Rikert , Cornell University (VIVO), US
David Baker, CASRAI, CA
Keith Jeffery, STFC, UK
Brian Matthews, STFC, UK
Simon Hodson, Jisc, UK
Andrea Scharnhorst
Daan Broeder
Max Planck Institute, NL
Angus WhyteDCC, UK
Peter Mutschke,
Paolo Manghi,ISTI, IT
Anne-Francoise Cutting-Decelle, EC Lille, FR,University of Geneva / CUI / ICLE
Nikos Houssos,EKT, GR
Miguel-Angel Sicilia,University of Alcala, ES
Natalia Manola,University of Athens, Greece
[2] Public Record Office Victoria
[3] Preservation Metadata – PREMIS (Library of Congress)
[4] MARC Standards (Library of Congress)
[5] CKAN Case Studies
[6] Data Catalog Vocabulary (DCAT). W3C Working Draft 05 April 2012
[7] The Common European Research Information Format (CERIF). A EU recommendation to Member States, handed over into the responsibility of euroCRIS, a non-for profit organisation registered in the Netherlands:
[8] Consortia Advancing Research Administration Information (CASRAI):
[9] VIVO: An Interdisciplinary network. Enabling collaboration and discovery among scientists across all disciplines:
[10] Joan E. Beaudoin. A Framework for Contextual Metadata Used in the Digital Preservation of Cultural Objects. D-Lib Magazine. Vol 11, No. 11/12, December 2012.
[11] Sue McKemmish, Adrian Cunningham, Dagmar Parer. Metadata Mania. Monash University