Formalizing An Approach to Develop the Global Change Master Directory (GCMD)’s Controlled Vocabularies (Keywords) Through a Keyword Governance Process and Community Involvement


NASA’s Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) develops and expands a hierarchical set of controlled vocabularies (keywords) covering the Earth sciences and associated information (data centers, projects, platforms, instruments, etc.). The purpose of the keywords is to describe Earth science data and services in a consistent and comprehensive manner, allowing for the precise searching of metadata and subsequent retrieval of data and services. The keywords are accessible in a standardized SKOS/RDF/OWL representation and are used as an authoritative taxonomy, as a source for developing ontologies, and to search and access Earth Science data within online metadata catalogues. The keyword development approach involves: (1) receiving community suggestions, (2) triaging community suggestions, (3) evaluating the keywords against a set of criteria coordinated by the NASA ESDIS Standards Office, and (4) publication/notification of the keyword changes. This approach emphasizes community input, which helps ensure a high quality, normalized, and relevant keyword structure that will evolve with users’ changing needs. The Keyword Community Forum, which promotes a responsive, open, and transparent processes, is an area where users can discuss keyword topics and make suggestions for new keywords. The formalized approach could potentially be used as a model for keyword development.

Collaboration Area: