Metadata Collections & QA

Special Note: This policy is a proposed policy yet to be approved. The primary differences between this version and current policy is that there are more criteria for accessioning (particularly pertaining to data) and a higher level of review placed on resources, metadata and collections.

DLESE Accessioning and Deaccessioning Policy

Goals of accessioning and deaccessioning

To achieve the comprehensive, coherent collection envisioned by the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) community, sustainable and appropriate mechanisms are required to support collection growth and maintenance. This is accomplished by accessioning (adding) and deaccessioning (removing) individual metadata records or collections of metadata records according to policies. Library growth occurs by encouraging the contribution of metadata records about individual or collections of resources. Deaccessioning is a mechanism of quality assurance.

A. Accessioning policy

In order to accession or add library items, the metadata records being contributed and the actual resource materials must meet eligibility requirements. There are different levels of accessioning:

  1. Eligibility for resources
  2. Eligibility for collections

When accessioning resources or collections, resource and metadata creators maintain intellectual property rights:

  1. Rights of resource creators
  2. Rights of metadata creators

For recognition of their excellence, all accessioned resources are given the status of a formal publication. (from the Quality initiative not DAWG - need to decide about this)

1. Eligibility for resources

These requirements apply to contributions of individual items not intended to be a collection (e.g. a single lesson plan, a satellite image, a course web site, etc.). Resource materials need to:

  • Be within the scope of the DLESE collection per the DLESE Collection Scope and Policy Statement
  • Meet or exceed the following criteria. Generally resources without data or with embedded data wrapped into an educational context are expected to meet the requirements listed in the resource column. Because data, data-rich or data-tool resources are often significantly different in structure and purpose, they are expected to meet the requirements listed in the data, data-rich or data tool resources column.
  • Table 1. Resource Accessioning Criteria


    See Resource Quality Guidelines for an explanation of these criteria

    Data, Data-rich or data-tool resources

    See Data Quality Guidelines for an explanation of these criteria

    • Relevant to Earth system education
    • Scientific accuracy
    • Attribution as to origin
    • Importance or significance
    • Pedagogical effectiveness and documentation (if appropriate)
    • Completeness of documentation
    • Ease of use for teachers and learners
    • Inspirational/motivational for learners
    • Robustness and functionality as a digital resource
    • Free of advertising that is distracting or off topic
    • Free or low cost to educational users

    To be determined.
    The Data Access Working Group (DAWG) has some proposals.

    Until criteria are finalized, requirements are under the direction of the Collections Committee with help from the DAWG..

  • Have complete required metadata appropriate to the resource type (see contribute a resource to determine the appropriate metadata)
  • Have metadata that meets or exceeds the metadata quality guidelines

(From the Quality initiative - need to decide what to do) Resource providers and DLESE work to together to:

  • Perform a quality review in the areas of scientific content and accuracy, pedagogy (if appropriate) and metadata quality
  • Acknowledge resource creators (if different than resource provider) and invite resource creators to participate in accessioning and review processes


2. Eligibility for collections

These requirements apply to the contribution of groups of related items that are intended to be a distinct named collection. Collections have an organizing principle such as a theme, topic, audience, teaching strategy or some other criteria that can be clearly articulated. Items in the collection and the collection as a whole need to:

  • Be within the scope of the DLESE collection per the DLESE Collection Scope and Policy Statement
  • Meet or exceed the resource quality guidelines
  • Have compete required metadata appropriate to the collection type (also see how to contribute a collection for additional information)
  • Have metadata that meets or exceeds the metadata best practices
  • Supply a collection scope statement (see writing scope statements)
  • Have a mechanism for sending metadata to DLESE.
  • Agree to the redistribution and subsequent use of metadata by third parties (DLESE partners and the National Science Digital Library (NSDL))
  • Submit DLESE collection-level metadata
  • Provide a contact person for collection organization and management
  • Each resource within the collection meets the eligibility for resources requirements above


3. Rights of resource creators

Creators (or their institutions, as applicable) retain their respective individual intellectual property rights related to individual resources.

4. Rights of metadata creators

Collection builders (metadata creators) retain their individual intellectual property right to metadata. Collection builders agree that DLESE may modify and reformat metadata to function within DLESE systems and services (e.g. providing metadata to other digital libraries). Collection builders must notify DLESE if they do not want their metadata redistributed.

B. Deaccessioning policy

Resources may be removed (deaccessioned) from the DLESE collection. This means metadata records referencing such resources are deaccessioned (removed) from the library. Deaccessioning occurs if

  • The resource URL is broken: i.e. the URL consistently returns an error message in response to repeated attempts to access it over a reasonable length of time
  • The resource content changes to the extent that the metadata record no longer accurately describes the resource's content (which may still be within DLESE scope). In order to keep the resource in the library, new metadata needs to be created to accurately describe the resource.
  • The resource material is deemed inappropriate or no longer satisfies the DLESE Collection Scope and Policy Statement or the accessioning criteria described in this document
  • The resource material no longer satisfies the resource quality guidelines
  • Technology needed to use the resource is no longer available
  • There has been an official finding of plagiarism or copyright violation concerning the resource material or previews about resource materials
  • The resource creator has requested that the resource material be removed from the DLESE collection
  • Metadata quality is discovered to be insufficient or inappropriate according to the metadata best practices
  • A DLESE Reviewed Collection (DRC) review no longer applies because the resource material has changed dramatically. At a minimum, the resource is removed from the DLESE Reviewed Collection; it may or may not remain remain accessible in the library.

Metadata records can be re-accessioned provided the Accessioning Policy is met (i.e. errors are corrected). There is a deaccessioning process.

C. Management

This document is the responsibility of the DLESE Collections Accessioning Taskforce. (removed collections committee and steering committee since they have been disbanded. However, there is still a Collections Accessioning Taskforce)


Last updated: 2005-12-20; 2005-01-08