Metadata is information about how data are defined, structured and represented. It can provide meaning and context to data by describing how data is captured and the business rules for collecting data. It can also assist in the interpretation of data.
Metadata endorsed for use within an organisation or across Australia are referred to as data standards.
The Metadata Online Registry (METeOR) is Australia’s repository for national data standards in the health, community services, housing assistance, homelessness and early childhood sectors. METeOR is administered by the AIHW.
In June 2018, AIHW signed a contract with CSIRO to replace the existing METeOR technical platform. As part of the upgrade, CSIRO will develop a range of features to enhance and customise the replacement system.
The development and implementation will occur in the second half of 2018, with the new METeOR system currently projected to ‘go live’ in the first half of 2019. Training and support will be available for registered organisations and users.
The AIHW offers training in metadata concepts and development. Various forms of METeOR training can be tailored to meet organisational needs (for example, general user training, data developer and registrar).
Existing users have ongoing access to METeOR’s on-line tutorials for additional support.
Registration authorities are responsible for endorsing data standards for different sectors. These are publically available for use in a range of settings.
There are national and non-national registration authorities. National registration authorities are able to endorse national data standards. Non-national registration authorities support organisational specific metadata development work (for example, state or territory health department work).
When the AIHW agrees to establish a registration authority in METeOR, the service includes:
Metadata should be reviewed for quality assurance before it is endorsed as a standard by a registration authority.
The AIHW also offers a metadata support service for metadata developed or revised by a registration authority. For example, the AIHW offers a review service that ensures metadata is constructed correctly, is reusable and accurately describes the underlying data.
For more information about AIHW’s metadata services, contact the AIHW Metadata and METeOR Unit:
Phone +61 2 6244 1222
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