Associate University Librarian
for Digital Library Systems
Research data is extremely valuable for other researchers to discover and use but inherently difficult to describe. In common with other primary source materials, research data rarely includes adequate and robust descriptions, to identify the title, the subject matter, etc. Research data tends to be produced via a complex, collaborative process making creation and ownership of the data difficult to determine. Context and relationship are also critical for research data. It is important to know the instruments used to capture and analyze the data and to associate ancillary materials, such as lab notes or codebooks, with the appropriate data. It is also critical to know where, in the context of a larger project, the data has been captured, for example in the third trial of the second experiment.
The Rutgers University Libraries have developed and codified a metadata object description schema (MODS) application profile that is usable by any repository with a full MODS implementation, that documents the content, major life-cycle events and rights associated with the data. The application profile (AP) includes critical genre information useful for organizing data in a repository or filtering searches. This presentation will describe the AP and provide a link to its registry for review and reuse by interested colleagues.