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PPSR_CORE Metadata Standard

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Overview

Over the fall of 2013, organizations supporting citizen science came to a landmark agreement – to share basic information across databases that catalog citizen science projects.

The collaborative success for citizen science and public participation in scientific research (PPSR) led to the development of the PPSR_CORE Program Data Model Metadata Standard / data sharing protocol.

Sharing information across databases maximizes everyone’s efforts, getting more “bang for the buck” out of information about citizen science projects everywhere. It leads to current, up-to-date, and synchronized project lists and a broader understanding about citizen science globally.

The Need

With the proliferation of citizen science, a number of organizations have been cataloging projects to offer support, network practitioners, and/or track outcomes. These efforts are complementary. Up-to-date information about citizen science projects is valuable to both project leaders and researchers, but the task of entering and maintaining this information in multiple places is cumbersome.

The Significance

By agreeing to openly share core data fields about projects, the citizen science community benefits:

  • project leaders can add and edit information about their project in a single place of choice
  • project information can be shared and synchronized automatically across all participating databases
  • project updates in one database are reflected, in real time, across multiple databases serving a variety of purposes
  • those searching for projects can do so from any provider and be confident results contain the most up-to-date information

The Team

Several core founding organizations started the PPSR_CORE initiative (below) and we are now forming an international working group to continue this important work.

Following the PPSR Core meta data standards and using an open Creative Commons license (CC-SA), SciStarter has a functioning API to pull in bulk or programmatic additions of projects. SciStarter also has an open API to share projects by opening access to others who wish to search, retrieve, and display project information. The SciStarter API is documented at http://scistarter.com/api.html

Moving Forward

The Citizen Science Association will maintain oversight of these standards, and guide terms of use for sharing of public, private, and government data. For now, these standards describe a core set of fields. Organizations are invited to propose and build extensions that can enhance these standards, such as extensions that describe a particular subset of projects or project features. As keystone databases such as SciStarter, CitSci.org, and CitizenScience.org adopt and use these metadata standards, it is to the greatest advantage of all in the field to adopt and join in the process of enhancing and improving these standards to the benefit of all.

Required Fields

Below are required metadata fields, formats, and descriptions.

ID Field Data Type Req? Vocab. Description
1 ProjectGUID GUID

Y

A Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) for each PPSR project
2 ProjectName text

Y

Name of project
3 ProjectDataProvider text

Y

Name of data provider / source / initial first registry
4 ProjectDescription text

Y

Description of project related to aspects such as goals, objectives, purpose, vision, etc.
5 ProjectDateLastUpdated ISO 8601 DateTime (UTC)

Y

Date the project information was last updated; (required in DBs but not in XML)
6 DatabaseContactName Person Object / Construct

Y

Database contact first and last name
7 ProjectStatus text / categorical

Y

Starting, active, complete, hiatus Current status of the project activity

Optional Fields

Below are optional metadata fields, formats, and descriptions.

ID Field Data Type Req? Vocab. Description
8 publicContact Person Object/Construct

N

Person that interested public or researchers should contact
9 publicContactAffiliation text

N

Public contact primary affiliation
10 publicContactEmail text

N

Public contact email address
11 publicContactPhone text

N

Public contact phone number
12 publicContactAddress text

N

Public contact mailing address
13 numParticipants int

N

Total number of registered participants
14 projectActiveParticipantDefinition text

N

Definition used by the project for an “active participant”
15 numActiveparticipants int

N

Total number of active participants based on the project’s definition of activity
16 participantAge int

N

Age of participants (if known)
17 participantAudience_Scistarter text

N

— Select — Target participants (defined by user research with Scistarter)
18 participantEducation text

N

— Select — Type of education required for participation
19 educatorMaterials text

N

Link(s) to project’s teacher guides and/or note avaialbility in print form
20 participationTasks text

N

— Select — Participation tasks
21 projectGear text

N

Essential equipment for participation (tools, gear, field equipment, apps, Internet access, etc.)
22 fieldOfScience text

N

— Select — General field of science. Top level categories defined by National Academies
23 projectInstitutionName text

N

Institution or organization that is hosting the project
24 projectDataAPI text / url

N

URL or API for current data
25 projectImage image

N

Image
26 projectURL text / url

N

URL for project home page
27 projectFacebook text / url

N

URL for project Facebook page or group
28 projectTwitter text / url

N

Project Twitter handle
29 projectBlog text / url

N

URL for project blog
30 preferredSocialMedia text / url

N

Preferred social media outlet (may or may not be listed above)

In Progress Fields

Discussion of the following metadata fields is an ongoing process.

ID Field Data Type Req? Vocab. Description
31 ProjectStartYear ISO 8601 Year (UTC)

N

Year project started (not date volunteers begin participation)
32 ProjectEndDate ISO 8601 Date (UTC)

N

End date of project if applicable
33 ProjectOrganization text

N

Organization supporting the project
34 ProjectPartners text

N

List of project partners
35 ProjectScientificPartners text

N

List of scientific collaborators; i.e. scientists or academic departments using the data collected
36 ProjectSector text / categorical

N

— Select — Project sector description
37 ProjectGeospatialRange text

N

— Select — To define active range – could be continental/state/province/counties/etc. Use the EML standard for inspiration?
38 ProjectCoverageBoundary WKT data / many LL coordinates / Polygonal data

N

User-defined polygon
39 ProjectPinLatittude floating point

N

Latitude coordinate in geographic decimal degrees for the center or home base of the project best representing the project’s location as a point.
40 ProjectPinLongitude floating point

N

Longitude coordinate in geographic decimal degrees for the center or home base of the project best representing the project’s location as a point.
41 ProjectTags (or ProjectKeywords) text

N

List of tags to assist with searching and filtering.
42 ProjectMetadata text

N

Catch-all for any project-specific data administrators want to make available.
43 projectVolunteerSupport text/ categorical

N

— Select — The training, communication, incentives, and other forms of support that a project offers its volunteers.

Posted on: October 9, 2015  |  Category: Blog, Citizen Science Association, Metadata, News