EURHISFIRM D4.5: Report on EURHISFIRM documentation standard

TitleEURHISFIRM D4.5: Report on EURHISFIRM documentation standard
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsPoukens J

The purpose of Task 4.5 was selecting data documentation or metadata standards for EURHISFIRM. Metadata is defined by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) as "data that defines and describes other data" or, simply, “data about data”. A metadata standard, then, is "an agreed list of common metadata items and the standardisation of terminology and definitions for these items" (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2007, pp. 73, 76). This report covers only the EURHISFIRM standards for the documentation, i.e. description of the provenance, characteristics, structure, and contents of datasets and printed sources. Other Working Packages may propose additional standards for other purposes. In addition to metadata standards, we also propose software applications for documenting datasets and printed sources according to the proposed metadata standards. In Report D4.1, we already reviewed several generic metadata standards and metadata standards for the social sciences, as well as software tools for producing, editing, storing and retrieving metadata. The purpose of Task 4.1 was selecting a metadata standard and an appropriate software tool for the selected standard. The selected metadata standard (Data Documentation Initiative Lifecycle) and software (Colectica Designer) were then used in Task 4.4 (Data and Sources Documentation Production and Quality Assessment) for producing the homogenous data documentation of the printed sources and datasets identified in Task 4.2 (Data and Sources Inventory). The present report builds on the findings of these previous tasks, but the focus is shifted towards the appropriate data documentation standards for future use in the EURHISFIRM federated research infrastructure itself (as opposed to their application in the design phase). The structure of this report is as follows: First, the Data Documentation Initiative standards are briefly reintroduced.1 Then, different functions of metadata in EURHISFIRM and the appropriate standards for these tasks will be discussed. Finally, two possible software applications which can (partially) perform these functions in the appropriate metadata standard are introduced.


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