Describe your wildlife data with Metadata
This section will help you meet the objectives of Data Exchange Principle 3: Biodiversity data suppliers should make available sufficient meta-data to allow biodiversity data users to assess the scope and potential uses of their information holdings. When biodiversity data are supplied, accompanying information (metadata) on its ownership, methods and scale of collection and limitations of interpretation, should be provided.
What is Metadata?
Metadata is a descriptive summary of an item or resource. This description helps newcomers build and maintain an understanding of the background and current status of the item or resource. In the case of the NBN, metadata is primarily used to describe sets of wildlife data (datasets). The creation and use of metadata is important for the successful operation of the NBN. Every dataset made available through the Gateway has a metadata description associated with it. Good descriptions:
Help data managers identify, assess and manage issues relating to access and use of their own data through the NBN.
Enable potential users to quickly identify and locate data that meet their needs through the NBN Gateway.
Help users learn remotely about data and understand any issues associated with their availability and use.
Allow prospective users to judge whether a particular dataset is suitable for their intended purpose and assess whether it meets their needs.
Increase the chance that your data are used appropriately and reduce the chances of misuse.
NBN Metadata Standard
Metadata standards identify the type and level of information that should be provided in support of certain types of product or resource. Standards for metadata are being developed at international and national levels and there are already several thematic variants to these. They help provide consistent levels of information in support of any products made available to others.
The NBN metadata standard is specifically tailored to the needs of wildlife data whilst being compatible with national standards. The NBN standard provides editorial guidance intended to help anyone provided a sufficient level of contextual information to appropriately describe a wildlife data resource they make available through the NBN. The NBN Metadata Position Statement provides more information on the background and content of the NBN Metadata Standard. The standard itself is implemented within the Metadata Form for Species Datasets, part of the species data provider pack.