Evolution of an Application Profile: Advancing Metadata Best Practices through the Dryad Data Repository

Edward M. Krause, Erin Clary, Adrian Ogletree, Jane Greenberg


Dryad is a curated digital archive for data associated with scholarly publications. In an effort to facilitate the discoverability, reusability, and interoperability of archived content, Dryad has implemented a standardized set of metadata elements in the form of a Dublin Core Application Profile (DCAP, hereafter referred to as application profile). This paper examines the evolution of Dryad’s application profile from its inception in 2007 to its current practice, version 3.2. We model the relationships between data packages, data files, and publications for each version of the application profile and perform a crosswalk analysis to map equivalent metadata elements across each version. Results covering versions 1.0 to 3.0 show an increase in the number of metadata elements used to describe data objects in Dryad. Results also confirm that Version 3.0, which envisioned separate metadata element sets for data package, data files, and publication metadata, was never fully realized due to constraints in Dryad system architecture. Version 3.1 subsequently reduced the number of metadata elements captured by recombining the publication and data package element sets. This paper documents current practice in the form of version 3.2, and informs a larger effort to update the application profile to meet the needs of Dryad's diverse community of stakeholders and expanding scope.

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