Metadata and discoverability


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MetaRepo is a metadata repository and schema registry which allows users to validate, store, and search metadata documents linked to the data resources they describe, making them findable.

Metadata refers to descriptive information about data. It typically includes administrative details (such as data creation date, data format, licence) and discipline specific information (such as instrumental or model settings, sample description, software used to perform the analysis).

A metadata document is a specific representation of metadata for a particular resource. It is a structured record that contains detailed information about the resource it describes, following a predefined metadata schema.

A metadata schema defines the structure and rules for describing and organising metadata for specific types of resources. It provides a standardised framework for capturing essential information, ensuring consistency in metadata representation, promoting interoperability across different systems and enhancing data reusability.

Metadata documents and metadata schemas are fundamental components in ensuring that data adheres to the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles, and should be stored in dedicated repositories. MetaRepo enables data curators to register metadata schemas, and it allows research users to store metadata documents which are automatically validated at upload time against the corresponding metadata schema.
Moreover, MetaRepo allows querying and filtering metadata documents by searchable attributes, making them findable.

All the registered metadata schemas are publicly available and can be browsed from the Schema Management tab:

Overview of the Schema Management tab in MetaRepo. The publicly available registered
schemas are listed, together with the versioning and other administrative metadata.


The metadata documents available for the user, according to the Access Control List, can be visualised from the Metadata Management tab:


Overview of the Metadata Management tab in MetaRepo. The metadata documents available for the user are listed,
together with the corresponding schemas they are based on and
the related resources (datasets) they describe.


In addition, a local Metadata editor has been developed to allow users who are not familiar with JSON to load the metadata schemas registered in MetaRepo, to edit their metadata documents via a friendly interface and to register them in MetaRepo. Moreover, the creation of a metadata document containing the provenance workflow of a given resource can be automatically triggered from the Metadata editor.

Overview of how the fields of a JSON metadata schema (for raw data in this case) loaded from MetaRepo are rendered in the Metadata editor


Rossella Aversa,

Access Metarepo

Download the metadata editor