The RIF-CS schema is a data interchange format that supports the electronic exchange of collection and service descriptions. It organises information about collections and services into the format required by the ANDS Collections Registry so that this information can be harvested automatically.
The ANDS Collections Registry is modelled on an international standard, ISO 2146:2010 Information and documentation -- Registry services for libraries and related organisations. This standard was carefully chosen in preference to other models such as Dublin Core Collection Description Application Profile (DC CDAP), the JISC Information Environment Service Registry (IESR), or the many models in use in scientific disciplines.
The advantage of the ISO 2146 information model is its strong support for a federated registry service that contains descriptive and administrative metadata for collections and related services, parties and activities, and also supports the expression of relationships between those entities.ANDS wants to make information about collections, services, parties and activities available to support discovery, determination of value, access and re-use. ANDS has adapted the ISO 2146 model to support this aim.
The RIF-CS Schema continues to evolve to meet the needs of the Australian research community, and is reviewed annually. The user community has input into this process through the RIF-CS Advisory Board. For current change information see RIF-CS Schema Change News.
If necessary, attributes can be repeated by adding another instance of their element, with the exception of the following:
The RIF-CS schema supports multiple identifiers, multiple names, multiple locations, multiple relations, multiple subjects, multiple descriptions, and multiple links to related information if required. Use repeated elements to do this. For example:
Full details of repeatability are contained in the RIF-CS schema.
The elements within RIF-CS are sequenced.
Elements must be ordered according to the schema sequence, or the RIF-CS document will not be ingested into the ANDS Collections Registry and error messages will be generated of the form " This element is not expected. Expected is...". The record will be rejected (not the entire harvest).
For more information about sequence, see the schema documentation for registryObjects
Local values and new vocabularies
Vocabularies (lists of terms or permissible data values) are the main source for metadata values recorded in the ANDS Collections Registry.
ANDS has suggested vocabularies. Use of the ANDS vocabularies is recommended, as consistent terminology improves the precision of searching. However, user defined vocabularies can be used in most elements instead of the suggested vocabularies. As an example, subject terms used in a discipline- or theme-based repository would be valuable. Keywords used in publications or research proposals could also provide valuable search terms.
However, user defined vocabulary capability was also included to allow repositories to use controlled vocabularies that are appropriate to specific disciplines and communities. It was not designed to allow uncontrolled use of ad hoc vocabularies. Use of local vocabularies, especially on an ad hoc basis, has an adverse effect on discoverability. If different vocabularies are used to describe the same thing, the search results will not include all relevant metadata records.
The ANDS vocabularies are expected to be informed and developed further by the RIF-CS user community. Please contact email@example.com if you have candidate vocabulary terms to be evaluated for possible inclusion in the ANDS vocabularies.
In November 2012, ANDS launched a Controlled Vocabulary prototype service that allows research organizations to create, manage and query "controlled vocabularies" relating to their research datasets. More information.
The ANDS suggested vocabularies are not subject to version control. Vocabulary changes or the addition of new vocabulary types occur on an ongoing basis, following confirmation by the RIF-CS Advisory Board. Vocabularies are completely open for most elements, therefore use of deprecated vocabularies or vocabularies not yet added will not cause any problems for contributors.
Changes to vocabularies are not linked or tied to RIF-CS versions in the ANDS Registry or in Research Data Australia, although those may occur at the same time as changes in the schema.
Syntax is the layout and form of information within a metadata element.
For syntax issues with the RIF-CS elements see the RIF-CS schema
However, the schema do not describe syntax for element content derived from vocabularies. This is particularly important for information such as spatial coordinates. As an example, if incorrect syntax is used to describe spatial coordinates, the information cannot be used for automated mapping.
To resolve a syntax issue for element content derived from vocabularies, first check any references to standards or examples provided in this guide, or alternatively model your syntax on similar existing records. If this does not resolve the issue please contact your ANDS contact or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Obligation refers to whether a particular RIF-CS component is required or optional.
At the most basic level, the RIF-CS schema defines which elements and attributes are required. These rules are set out in the Schema Guidelines and enforced as part of validating RIF-CS XML documents at the point of ingestion into the ANDS Collections Registry.
All metadata records in the ANDS Collections Registry must have the following components:
In addition, the inclusion of a name and a URL pointing to the source metadata record are highly recommended.
Attributes may be required conditionally. For example, if spatial information is recorded within the element, it is mandatory to also specify the type of spatial information in the associated type attribute. Inclusion of spatial information is optional, but if it is there, its type must also be recorded.
The Schema Guidelines contain full technical obligation information. For content providers supplying metadata to ANDS under contract, additional obligations may apply. These will be specified as part of contractual arrangements and may reference the Metadata Content Requirements. See also our tips for the impact of RIF-CS metadata.
The "Contributor Home Pages" functionality of Research Data Australia is an opt-in feature that creates a home page for each contributor.
This home page is automatically linked to all the collections, parties, activities, and services contributed by the organisation. Contributor home pages have some basic text about the organisation, which is created by from a template that can be embellished by the organisation's data source administrators with richer text and images.
More information about contributor pages [PDF]
Identifiers such as handles, Digital Object Identifiers and PURLs can be provided either as strings containing the identifier component only, or as resolvable URLs. URLs are preferable where available, both to facilitate navigation by users and to support linked data developments.
From December 2011,
Identifiers will be displayed within Research Data Australia as provided by the data provider and prefixed with the identifier type
Where a resolvable URL can be generated for a provided identifier the displayed identifier will become a clickable link to the generated URL.
|orcid||Identifier made resolvable be prefixing the given identifier with.|
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