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1. In 2004, the Bureau o=
f the Conference of European Statisticians approved the creation of a Commo=
n Metadata Framework (CMF) under the supervision of the Steering Group on S=
tatistical Metadata (METIS). This initiative is now relatively mature, with=
several parts of the CMF now published. As a consequence, the focus of the=
work on the CMF will increasingly turning from development to maintenance.=
This paper sets out the future maintenance strategy for the CMF, approved =
by the Steering Group.
2. The CMF currently comprises= four parts, which are at different stages in their development, as outline= d below. It is intended as a living resource for those working with metadat= a in national and international statistical organizations, so it is essenti= al that it is kept up to date, otherwise it will rapidly lose its value.=20
3. Apart from Part A, th=
e CMF is published only in electronic format, via the METIS Wiki (http://www1.unece.or=
g/stat/platform/display/metis). This means that maintenance and updatin=
g can be spread amongst the METIS community. However it also means that cle=
ar update schedules and responsibilities are needed.
4. The main aim of Part =
A is metadata advocacy, explaining the importance of a good metadata manage=
ment system for the efficient production of statistics. It is targeted at s=
enior managers and subject-matter statisticians, as well as those responsib=
le for making business cases to create or enhance statistical metadata syst=
ems. It was first published on the Internet in 2006, but was updated and en=
hanced by the Steering Group on Statistical Metadata to reflect feedback fr=
om various users. The resulting version was published in electronic and pap=
er formats, in both English and Russian, at the end of 2009.
5. For these reasons, th=
e contents of Part A are expected to be the most stable over time. =
A five-year revision cycle is therefore proposed, with the next re=
view scheduled for 2014. This review will be announced, with a call for inp=
uts, at the METIS Work Session planned for spring 2013.
6. A short brochure will= be prepared to highlight the key messages from the current version of Part= A.=20
7. There are many intern=
ational standards relating to different aspects of statistical metadata, wh=
ich can be confusing for those new to the subject. Part B explains the key =
features of these standards, their applicability and how they relate to eac=
h other. A simple template is used to present this information in a logical=
and consistent way, and to provide the reader with links to original sourc=
e material for further information.
8. During 2009 and 2010 =
an informal task force developed Part B to the point where it documents 26 =
important standards, and their relationships with each other. The work of t=
his task force is now complete, but on-going maintenance of this useful res=
ource will be needed.
9. Given that the area o=
f metadata standards is continually evolving, a two-year revision c=
ycle is proposed for Part B, though if standards are known to have=
changed, intermediate updates are also encouraged.
10. Part C is currently the least de=
veloped part of the CMF. It is intended to explore the role of metadata thr=
oughout the statistical production process. The main output so far is the G=
eneric Statistical Production Process Model (GSBPM). Further work on the ap=
plication of the model and its implications for the management of statistic=
al metadata is on-going via an informal task force. The work of this task f=
orce is focused on providing inputs to a METIS workshop (5-7 October 2011),=
where further requirements for Part C will be decided.
11. It is therefore a little early t=
o talk about maintenance schedules for Part C. The 2010 Work Session on Sta=
tistical Metadata agreed that the GSBPM should not be changed for at least =
two years. The Steering Group will re-consider the possible mainten=
ance schedule for Part C in 2012.
12. Part D comprises a set of case s=
tudies from national and international statistical organizations, describin=
g their experiences in developing and implementing statistical metadata sys=
tems. These case studies follow a standard template and focus on lessons le=
arned. They give honest accounts of successes and failures, and are regular=
ly updated by their authors, thus providing a valuable resource to help use=
rs to benefit from the experiences of others. Some case studies have been a=
dded or updated recently, whilst others are already several years old.
13. Case studies have been provided =
so far by Albania, Australia, Austria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Fin=
land, Germany, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia=
, South Africa, Sweden and the United Nations Industrial Development Organi=
14. Part D is unique in the sense th=
at the content belongs to a number of different organisations, and only tho=
se organisations have the authority and competence to maintain their conten=
t. The content should therefore be updated whenever anything changes. Howev=
er reminders will be sent to authors every two years, star=
ting in 2011, and then aligning with the proposed two-year cycle of METIS w=
ork sessions from 2013 onwards, to ensure that case studies are updated bef=
ore each work session.
15. Whilst the Steering Group retain=
s the overall responsibility for maintaining the CMF, it will be more effic=
ient to delegate responsibility for certain parts to specific individuals. =
These individuals are normally members of the Steering Group, who undertake=
to ensure that the content is reviewed according to the agreed schedule. I=
n some cases this involves checking and updating content directly, in other=
cases it involves contacting a relevant expert and asking that person to r=
eview the content.
16. The Steering Group has therefore=
approved the following groups to responsibility for the respective parts o=
f the CMF: