Annual Metadata Maintenance Guide

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Metadata for the archive are living documents that need, at a minimum, annual review. Sometimes the data changes, the metadata content changes or it is an opportunity to make the content of the record richer.
Please update the metadata date when the review is complete.

At a minimum

Review Content and Ensure Everything is Up-to-Date

Do all of your archive holdings have metadata?Review listing of metadata in the WAF and compare to descriptions of archive holdings at NGDC's ADIC Inventory Information intranet wiki page. Each data set should have a metadata record. I recommend authoring metadata as granular as possible - to ensure that each dataset has meaningful descriptions.
Are URLs up-to-date?
Are contacts, phone numbers and emails up-to-date?
Are keywords still up-to-date?
Does the distribution link take users to that data access page?
Spelling and grammar are checked?
Did you update the Metadata Date Field?


How well does the metadata describe the resource?

  • How complete is the metadata?
  • Is the scope of the metadata granular enough to describe the resource?
  • Is quality of the data recorded?
  • Are inputs, outputs, processing details and algorithms documented?

Even better

Have the metadata standard(s) and/or metadata tools evolved?

  • Are there new features or new tools that make editing metadata easier?
  • Have the standards evolved and what new features help document data better?



  • Are there ways to re-use metadata content programmatically?
  • Does the data home page provide links to metadata for more information?
  • Is metadata distributed with data download package?

The Bomb

Related Projects and Communities

  • Are there other projects and communities that the metadata can be a part of?
  • Are there expectations and guidance available from projects and communities?
  • Is the metadata content compatible with projects and communities?