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Metadata Standards and Metadata Registries: An Overview

Bruce E. Bargemeyer and Daniel W. Gillman


Much work is being accomplished in the national and international standards communities to reach consensus on standardizing metadata and registries for organizing that metadata. This work has had a large impact on efforts to build metadata systems in the statistical community. Descriptions of several metadata standards and their importance to statistical agencies are provided. Applications of the standards at the Census Bureau, Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Statistics Canada, and many others are provided as well, with an emphasis on the impact a metadata registry can have in a statistical agency. Standards and registries based on these standards help promote interoperability between organizations, systems, and people. Registries are vehicles for collecting, managing, comparing, reusing, and disseminating the designs, specifications, procedures, and outputs of systems, e.g., statistical surveys. These concepts are explained in the paper.