Metadata Collections & QA

Resource Quality Guidelines

Purpose of the guidelines

The Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) established formal guidelines to:

  • Assist collection builders in identifying and selecting quality resources
  • Help users understand the level of quality of information they will find in DLESE collections and appreciate the the service is selective and quality controlled
  • Inform creators of practices for developing quality resources

Resources (the actual content, not metadata) should strive to:

1. Be relevant to Earth system education

The DLESE Collection Scope and Policy Statement defines Earth system education. Resources in the collection should fall within this scope.

2. Function reasonably well

Resources should be free of conspicuous bugs and defects that inhibit intended use. DLESE understands that not all websites and software can be completely bug-free. Resources that are still under construction would not meet this criterion for inclusion in DLESE.


3. Have attribution as to origin

Attribution may be to a person or persons or to an organization or both. The rationale for this recommendation is that knowledge of where a resource comes from--its author, sponsor or publisher--helps library users judge how much credence to give the resource.

4. Reflect sound scientific principles and practices and current scientific knowledge

DLESE strives to include resources with sound scientific principles and practices. DLESE also recognizes there may be important exceptions to this practice. For example, historical documents, which represent scientific knowledge of a previous generation rather than "current scientific knowledge," can be important for learning the history and epistemology of science. Other examples include resources that express one point of view on a controversial topic and might be considered by some to be outside "sound scientific practices." Such resources can be valuable for teaching critical thinking skills such as evaluating viewpoints and weighing the effects of motives and biases.

5. Have an obvious and intended utility for teaching, research or learning about the Earth system

DLESE favors resources designed for teaching, research and learning about the Earth system. Background material, references and other supporting resource types are not excluded if they are within DLESE scope.


6. Be free of advertising that is distracting or off topic for the learner

Resources should be free of advertising as much as possible, especially advertising that is irrelevant or interrupts or interferes with the use of the resource.

7. Be free or low cost to educational users

DLESE favors resources that are free or available at low cost. Generally, subscription-based resources are avoided.

Guidelines and best practices information

The DLESE Collections Accessioning Taskforce provides oversight for all guidelines and best practices.


These guidelines resulted from the DLESE Quality Workshop in June 2003.


Last updated: 4-09-04