Getting Started

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The Open Metadata Registry provides services for discovery, use, and administration of metadata vocabularies and element sets.

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For vocabulary maintainers, the registry provides a access points, a stable hosting service, and a range of management tools.

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Training Screencasts

The Sandbox

The registry sandbox is a non-production implementation of the registry software and can be used for testing the registry's features. Everything there works the same as in the live registry, except for the URIs (this avoids the temptation to use the sandbox as a substitute for the production-level registry). We advise playing around a bit in the sandbox before trying anything on the real thing.

Use Cases

For information about common use cases, see: <ask format="ul"></ask>

Making Policy Decisions Prior to Implementation

  • Metadata increasingly lives in an open world. Most older vocabulary development tools are designed to provide assistance in developing vocabularies in commercial environments or where development processes are assumed to reside 'in house.' They are usually applications designed to run behind a firewall for a good-sized organization or on a personal computer. In most cases they can provide output that can be used to develop web pages, but they assume that the organization is not interested in exposing the process itself outside the institution. The Registry is designed to be used in an open web environment--it can be used behind firewalls, but this requires more effort for the institution to manage.
  • Group based vocabulary development and maintenance is the best approach. Most vocabularies are designed for some combination of use by internal and external parties for specific purposes: to enhance discoverability, to deal with the ambiguities of language, or to sell products. Given this reality, most groups find that the development process needs to take advantage of the wisdom of the entire group in order to meet the goals of the group. The Registry software is designed to recognize that need, and accommodates a variety of group processes and workflows, providing opportunities to build vocabularies that can improve over time and reflect changes in language.
  • Sensible vocabulary development tools will support institutions using the Semantic Web. While many institutions are still using vocabularies in traditional ways, many are excited by the possibilities of the Semantic Web and open linked data to improve their results and make their work (whether product, description or idea) more broadly available for use and reuse by new communities of practice. The Registry enables vocabulary development to be undertaken with these Semantic Web opportunities in mind--it is based on standards and good practices developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), increasingly seen as the underpinnings that will drive the new information world for libraries, commerce and users of all varieties working on the Web.

Decision: Public or Private implementation?

software can also be used behind a firewall, either temporarily or permanently, but some potential may be limited as a result. An example of this is the mapping capability which will be included in the next version of the Registry. If other 'nodes' are not aware of privately implemented registries (or their URIs), these registries will be ignored as mapping connections are built by others, leaving all the mapping burdens for any shared activities on the privately implemented registry institution.

Decision: What Will Be the Institutional Role of the Registry

Metadata creation and maintenance are one of the prime reasons institutions develop vocabularies in the first place, and these activities are generally expensive, requiring significant human effort. Registry services can improve workflow and metadata quality at both the point of creation and for routine maintenance, making better use of machine capabilities and freeing human effort for other activities.

Many Registry implementers have a focus on metadata sharing, either as part of consortia or networks of similar institutions. Controlled vocabularies and data built using Description Set Profiles improves the quality of shareable metadata and makes the sharing process itself easier to automate and manage.

The Registry software will work well in relation to other vocabulary tools already in use by institutions. The new version of the Registry software will be able to ingest vocabularies built with other tools so that Registry services can be used across an institution without requiring that all other tools be abandoned.

Decision: How Will We Use Registry Services?

All Registry services are designed to support the building and maintenance of vocabularies (for owners) and usage of the vocabularies by others (users). Both owners and users are assumed to have an interest in the activities of the other, and the software is designed to facilitate that interactivity for positive benefit by all. An example of this benefit might be to provide evidence that a particular vocabulary built and maintained by an institution is widely used by others, providing a basis for seeking funding support either within or outside that owning institution.

The building of communities around vocabularies are a major goal and value of the Registry software, both to broaden the use of vocabularies and to provide efficient and cost-effective means to build and maintain vocabularies in the current information landscape, where the old 'publish and sell' business models are proving to be unsustainable.

Decision: How Will We Use Versioning?

The Registry software records all changes made, who made them and when, and provides all this information behind the 'History' tab. Using this history, RSS and Atom feeds of changes made are available via simple subscription. An example of this feed is shown on the Registry front page.


Decision: What Kinds of Internal Permissions and Authorizations Will We Need?

The Registry software is built to support group-based vocabulary development and maintenance, including:

  • A variety of statuses to support many different review workflows within the institution using Registry software
  • A simple user management workflow, starting with individual registration

The following Step-by-Step instructions will describe the Registry's User Management capabilities.


User Registration

The Registry user management system is based on a bottom up model. An individual user begins the process by building a simple profile for himself or herself. This first user then registers an institutional or individual agent who will be the vocabulary owner for vocabularies developed subsequently. By registering an institution or individual agent, the user becomes the Agent Administator for that organization/individual.

Registry Standard Workflow.jpg

Who Should Register

  • Anyone who needs to develop a vocabulary themselves or on behalf of another person or organization
  • Anyone who is working within an institutional or group setting to develop and/or maintain a vocabulary


Step-by-Step

Step 1: Register an Individual

On the upper right hand corner of every Registry page is a tab, which, for a user not signed in says:

* sign in/register | about

When clicked on sign in/register, the following page appears:

UserRegStep1sm.jpg

A new user must register by clicking the box that says click here to create a new account which allows the user to fill in four boxes, all mandatory:

  • a login name
  • a password
  • a password confirmation
  • an email address

The email address is used only for password retrieval, when a user forgets his or her password, is used for no other purpose, nor shared with any other service or individual.


UserRegStep2sm.jpg

Results: A new user account is created. The user should note the login name and password, as well as the email address entered at the time of new account registration.

Step 2. Register an Agent

Now that you are logged in, you can add a resource owner. Every schema or vocabulary must be owned by a resource owning agent, which can be registered as either an individual or an organization.

To register an agent by click on the '(Add)' link next to 'Resource Owners' in the Browse box on the right side of the page and fill out the resulting form. Owner Name and Email are required fields. Like with user registration, email addresses are kept private.

Agent Registration Page


Add other users in other roles

Navigation to registration form (try out the sandbox first).
Registration form screenshot & instructions.
Owner/Maintenance Agency form screenshot & instructions.

What Next?