This spring, work is underway on a new version of the DataCite metadata schema. DataCite is a worldwide consortium founded in 2009 dedicated to “helping you find, access, and reuse data.” The principle mechanism for doing so is the registration of digital object identifiers (DOIs) via the member organizations. To make sure dataset citations are easy to find, each registration for a DataCite DOI has to be accompanied by a small set of citation metadata. It is small on purpose: this is intended to be a “big tent” for all research disciplines. DataCite has specified these requirements with a metadata schema.
The team in charge of this task is the Metadata Working Group. This group responds to suggestions from DataCite clients and community members. I chair the group, and my colleagues on the group come from the British Library, GESIS, the TIB, CISTI, and TU Delft.
The new version of the schema, 2.3, will be the first to be paired with a corresponding version in the Dublin Core Application Profile format. It fulfills a commitment that the Working Group made with its first release in January of 2011. The hope is that the application profile will promote interoperability with Dublin Core, a common metadata format in the library community, going forward. We intend to maintain synchronization between the schema and the profile with future versions.
Additional changes will include some new selections for the optional fields including support for a new relationType (isIdenticalTo), and we’re considering a way to specify temporal collection characteristics of the resource being registered. This would mean describing, in simple terms and optionally, a data set collected between two dates. There are a few other changes under discussion as well, so stay tuned.
DataCite metadata is available in the Search interface to the DataCite Metadata Store. The metadata is also exposed for harvest, via an OAI-PMH protocol. California Digital Library is a founding member, and our DataCite implementation is the EZID service, which also offers ARKs, an alternative identifier scheme. Please let me know if you have any questions by contacting uc3 at ucop.edu.