Data and Metadata Working Group

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Welcome to the Data and Metadata Working Group

The mission of the Data and Metadata Working Group is to support, advance, and facilitate data interoperability among and between citizen science projects, and other data repositories; and, to promote collaboration in citizen science via the development and/or improvement of international standards for data and metadata.

Justin Schell (University of Michigan Library)
Greg Newman (Colorado State University and

Key Activities:

For project metadata standardization

  1. Continue mapping existing project metadata standards, including PPSR_Core and the standards used to describe projects in different repositories, to develop a common vocabulary and ontology for talking about citizen science. The latest version of the PPSR-Core can be found as part of the Geneva Declaration, emerging from the 2018 European Citizen Science Conference.
  2. Continue to support coordination between existing project repositories through activities like developing Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to share related information across repositories;
  3. Help coordinate a series of national repositories that are currently under development in Europe (included but not restricted to Germany, Austria, and Spain), through the activities listed above.

For observational metadata standardization

  1. Propose a high level reference model for citizen science observational data, based on existing models from the spatial data infrastructure (SDI), biodiversity, and big data community, among others;
  2. Continue to support coordination between data hosting and management platforms, through the development of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to share observational data, and demonstrating proof-of-concept data sharing;
  3. Prepare a discussion on data lifecycle management for citizen science, including an introduction to the topic and the possible projection of lifecycle models from other domains (e.g. Big Data and Spatial Data Infrastructures) onto observational data.

For the project at large

  1. Conduct a stakeholder analysis on citizen science data and metadata standards in order to investigate current assumptions on requirements from both data providers, data users, and others;
  2. Continue to recruit stakeholders to join this initiative, like by requesting a citizen science Domain Working Group (DWG) within the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC);
  3. Develop a collaboration platform to coordinate activities, and publish and share resources;
  4. Investigate the legal, organizational, semantic, and technical aspects of interoperability, as well as interoperability related to political context.

Key Projects:

  1. Project #1: Advancing work on PPSR-Core
  2. Project #2: Triangulating and integrating citizen science data
  3. Project #3: Developing a communications strategy, including a suite of tools and messages, around data and metadata in citizen science
  4. Project #4: “Choose your own adventure” QA/QC aspects of monitoring plans & data management