Community-Endorsed Data Standards
Data standards are the rules by which data are described and recorded. Standardising formats, and meanings, makes it easier to share, exchange, understand and use data.
Data standards support data interoperability, processing and management, and are a key component of FAIR.
Some standards (such as units of measurement) are of importance to many research domains, while other standards are domain-specific. And while some standards go through rigorous formal processes (such as ISO or W3C), others are more like conventions that are developed, agreed and adopted by a research community.
A research community may create a profile of a standard in order to better meet their needs. For example, they may develop a subset of a standard, or an extension to a standard. This enables a research community to maintain interoperability with the core of the standard, while also allowing for what may be specific to that community.
Why Use Community-Endorsed Data Standards?
Research communities use data standards for efficient data exchange and reuse within Australia and internationally. By using common approaches to share information, other people can understand data as it was meant to be understood, without first needing to reformat the data.
The ARDC recommends reuse of existing community-endorsed data standards. If you are developing a data model from scratch, check if there are standards that already exist that will meet your needs.
If you are using a generic spreadsheet to capture tabular data, consider using controlled terminology within cells, with a reference to the terminology source included in the column header. Similarly, if you are using a non-standard data format, reference the software that can be run to transform it into a community-endorsed data standard.
Where to Find Community-endorsed Data Standards
If you want to find community-endorsed data standards, search for sources of information representing high levels of expertise and formal processes. Well established facilities, research centres, and professional associations reflect community endorsed data standards. Directories of standards also help in searching across domains. Some examples of community-endorsed data standards are below.
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