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Metadata Maintenance Guide

Metadata records are living documents that need to be reviewed at least once a year to address changes to data and metadata content, or to incorporate information that makes the record more useful. Stewardship is a joint responsibility between NCEI and data providers. Data is archived for decades and NCEI is responsible for maintaining accurate records. 

While the initial content of a metadata record is drafted by a data provider during the ingest process, NCEI manages records in the long term, and makes necessary or requested updates to metadata.

Contact NCEI to request changes to metadata.

How to Maintain Metadata Records

Review Stage Review Questions
Content accuracy
  1. Do all of the related archive holdings have metadata?
  2. Are URLs up-to-date?
  3. Are contacts, phone numbers, and emails up-to-date?
  4. Are keywords still up-to-date?
  5. Does the distribution link take users to the data access page?
  6. Spelling and grammar are checked?
  7. Is the Metadata Date field up-to-date?
Data/resource descriptions
  1. How complete is the metadata?
  2. Is the scope of the metadata granular enough to describe the resource?
  3. Is the quality of the data recorded? 
  4. Are inputs, outputs, processing details, and algorithms documented?
Tools and Standards
  1. Are there new features or tools that make editing metadata easier?
  2. Have the standards evolved?
  3. What new features help document data better?
  1. Are there ways to re-use the metadata content programmatically?
  2. Does the data homepage provide links where users can find more information?
  3. Is metadata distributed with a data download package?
Projects and communities
  1. Are there projects and communities that can use  metadata?
  2. Are there expectations and guidance available from these projects and communities?
  3. Is the metadata content compatible with these projects and communities?