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ESIP endorses ITO coauthored metadata guidance

ITO staff Melinda Minch and Chantelle Verhey are co-authors on the recently endorsed Science On Schema.Org (SOSO) Guidance documents version 1.3.0. This new output provides guidance for semantically enriching metadata that describes Earth science data.

Two data icons, each with a metadata icon, from two different researchers, are connected via a semantic icon, representing consistent standards and guidance information.
Metadata and data can be connected and shared across research groups and boundaries with consistent standards and vocabularies – namely, guidance.

Metadata is data about data, and is often considered a description of a parcel of information, such as a dataset. Metadata typically follows consistent conventions, such as format and vocabulary, so that it can be parsed and understood consistently. Consistent metadata improves indexing by search engines for both individual data sets and data repositories, which directly improves the findability of the data and its integration in the global data ecosystem. Consistent metadata also improves the understanding of the data for both humans and machines, facilitating data use and reuse across research groups. This is important for Earth science data because it enables further discoverability and interoperability, necessarily leading to improved collaboration and research efficiency in domains such as Arctic data and climate change.

In their role as co-authors on the SOSO v1.3 guidance, Chantelle and Melinda have worked with data managers and providers to create and publish community-informed metadata guidance documentation as a major step towards improving the discoverability and interoperability of Earth Science data.

Once metadata guidance has been suggested, it needs to be implemented by data stewards, data repository managers, and research institutions. Endorsement by a recognized authority demonstrates community trust in the recommendations, and promotes adoption. As of October 5, 2022, the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Assembly has officially endorsed the SOSO guidance – the first time ESIP has ever endorsed such standards.

ESIP, a WDS partner member, is a United States based, international collaboration network that is recognized as a leader in the development of standards and best practices that make data discoverable, accessible, and usable by a wide range of stakeholders. They aim to link observation, research, application, education, and use of Earth science data through openness, participation, inclusiveness, and innovation. ESIP has over 120 partners worldwide, including research institutions, research commons, and commercial entities.

ESIP logo. On the left, an “E” is stylized to be circular teal coloured curve with a light blue slash in the middle, making it appear like Earth. To the right, “SIP” in stylized letters are in teal. The background is transparent.

The SOSO guidance documents being endorsed by ESIP showcases the alignment of the SOSO guidance with ESIP’s vision and goals, and encourages its adoption across ESIP’s vast international network. This endorsement is a step in Earth Science towards cross-repository discoverability, data access, and reuse on a global scale. Well done and congratulations, ESIP cluster!

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