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Mapping Repository Metadata Requirements

RIO Extension: Mapping Repository Metadata Requirements


Currently the repository community (HEIs) do not have a clear understanding of the metadata requirements from various initiatives such as OpenAIRE, EThOS and CERIF etc.  In terms of need: 

  • Funders want to track outputs associated with their grants
  • Researchers want to have their admin burden reduced
  • Institutions want to track outputs associated with their researchers , and to track their own outputs 
  • Publishers, data archives, repositories, funders and others (ie, places where researchers put things/information) want to provide services based on good quality data 

The repository metadata landscape is confusing and the UK community needs to be given guidance, especially as the JISC is developing a vision for a “data driven infrastructure” in which metadata plays an important role in supporting services.  Also several of the Research Councils are planning to launch their Research Outcomes Service in November 2011 and JISC and the Research Councils agree that this is good opportunity to start align our advice and guidance.  This work supports the strategic requirements of both JISC and Research Councils.


The aim of the work is to provide JISC and the Research Councils with sufficient information for them to agree the best set of guidance to institutional repositories with regard to exposing metadata for reporting / tracking / harvesting purposes.

To meet this aim, it will be necessary to work with UK RepositoryNet+ project, UKOLN, the Research Councils and others to take a broader view of the relevant metadata requirements and practices.  In particular, the objectives are to:

  1. With the (Repository+NET Project, review the requirements of the key organisations / stakeholders relevant to the tracking / reporting of OA research outputs.
  2. Review the supply of particular metadata sets with regards to the above (that is, for example, who holds relevant metadata, how authoritative is it, under what conditions is it made available, what data model is used (CERIF, DCMI, etc), who calls on this metadata, for what purposes, etc.
  3. With UK RepositoryNet+ Project, provide particular views/mappings of requirements and metadata flows.  This might include harvesting, (auto)deposit, calling APIs, and various other forms of interoperability. 
  4. Consult various stakeholder communities including the Research Information Management (RIM) Group, publishers, and the JISC Repositories and Curation Shared Services oversight group.
  5. Consider options for data-mining of funder and grant-number information from the acknowledgement sections of papers (preferably following the Research Information Network (RIN) Acknowledgement Format) and how these two metadata fields can be provided, free of charge to repositories for completion and validation.
  6. On the basis of the above, draft an options paper to JISC and RCs on what consolidated guidance to put to HEIs.  Options should be assessed against the following criteria: stakeholder requirements, opportunities, costs, risks, dependencies, plans, trends, barriers to compliance (eg balance between metadata quality and ease of deposit). Other criteria may be added.
  7. Provide clear guidance for JISC and Research Councils on the appropriate uses of CERIF and DC with regard to meeting the requirements, recognising that a mixed picture is likely to persist for some time.
  8. Make recommendations with respect to possible new infrastructure services or existing services to support this space, including APIs to authority lists (to feed into the UK RepositoryNet+ Project)

Anticipated Outputs and Outcomes

A final report to agree the best set of guidance for HEIs. The guidance will also be incorporated into the RIO repository once it has been agreed by the JISC and the Research Councils.

Project Staff

Les Carr, EPrints Services, University of Southampton

Tel: 07759 175921 or 023 8059 4479

Sheridan Brown, Key Perspectives Ltd

Alma Swan, Key Perspectives Ltd 

Start date
1 September 2011
End date
31 January 2012
Funding programme
Digital infrastructure: Research management programme
Research management: Repositories and curation shared infrastructure
Lead institutions

University of Southampton,

School of Electronics and Computer Science 


Partner institutions

Key Perspectives Limited