The UK Government’s Data Standards Authority publishes metadata standards
The United Kingdom (UK) Government’s Data Standards Authority (DSA) was established in April 2020 as part of the gov.uk organisation. The DSA aims to make it easier and more effective to share and use data across the government. Overall, their goal is to improve the quality of government data.
Recently, they published a collection of metadata standards for the sharing and publication of data. The standards are split into three sections:
- They argue that the Dublin Core Schema is the most appropriate metadata schema for sharing tabular data around governments. It makes it easier to catalogue, validate and re-use data.
- For describing the data, the advised standard is the schema.org Dataset Schema, which enables users to use search engines to find data.
- They advise to use the SCVW Standard in describing the content and to use this structure for CSV files.
This is the culmination of just one of the many processes by which governments worldwide are promoting a wider and more effective use of data through standardisation. At EU level, for example, the DCAT-AP serves as the target reference standard for the Member States data portals’ metadata. It is a result of European efforts to harmonise and link together the catalogues using a common cross-domain metadata language. DCAT-AP “prevents the coexistence of disconnected information islands of European data and the fragmentation of the open data landscape” and is at the core of the European Data Portal’s own technology. The Dublin Core Schema suggested by the DSA is one of the foundations of DCAT-AP.