Designing an Application Profile Using Qualified Dublin Core: A Case Study with Fracture Mechanics Datasets

João Aguiar Castro, Cristina Ribeiro, João Rocha da Silva


Metadata production for research datasets is not a trivial problem. Standardized
descriptors are convenient for interoperability, but each area requires specific descriptors in order
to guarantee metadata comprehensiveness and accuracy. In this paper, we report on an ongoing research
data management experience at U.Porto that relies on prior data survey results and also on a set of
tools for uploading and describing datasets. We presented two curation tools to a group of researchers
from mechanical engineering, to help them manage and describe their datasets. After monitoring their
interactions with the solutions and analyzing the needs of the group, we were able to select a subset
of qualified Dublin Core, as well as a series of complementary descriptors, to capture the main aspects
of their experiments. The resulting application profile combines generic, standardized DC descriptors
with descriptors from a different experimental standard, and introduces extra domain-specific ones.
The profile has been validated by the researchers and is now being used in the description of their