Next Time Try Recycling - What Reusable Metadata (Should) Look Like
One feature of DDI is its focus on metadata reuse. By looking at the current practice regarding this feature the following questions shall be answered: What are suppliers of reusable metadata? In the context of Linked Open Data there is a regular report "State of the LOD cloud" giving an overview of the available data and their sources. Although DDI metadata are not linked an overview over potential sources for reuse should be interesting nevertheless. What kind of metadata are offered? There
... re offered? There are perhaps two main scenarios for reusing metadata: aggregate metadata from different sources for indexing and then display a link to the original source (e.g. a search portal which directs its user to a relevant dataset) or reuse for ingesting the retrieved object in a separate life-cycle of another study (e.g. a question bank, which allows to reuse the questions in a new questionnaire). What are the organisational and technical approaches? Relevant for reuse are the findability and the format of exported metadata. Also the possibility to store own metadata and use the system like a registry can be desirable. Of course license issues can be important, too. After exploring the range of available metadata, in a second step some recommendations for a successful distribution of metadata will be suggested. One aim could be to develop criteria for distribution metadata following the FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship.