Appendix A: Sample Dataset Metadata

Standard Dataset Fields

The U.S. federal government has created the Project Open Data metadata schema standard to implement the federal open data policy. The Project Open Data schema is based on the international DCAT metadata schema used by open data programs around the world and has been mapped to many standards. The Project Open Data schema must be preseneted as a JSON file to be ingested by This schema is natively available with many open data portal providers including: Azavea, Esri Open Data, NuCivic's DKAN, OpenGov, and Socrata, and is easily added to CKAN sites with an extension or can be generated on an ad hoc basis with these tools.

Field Label Definition Required
title Title Human-readable name of the asset. Should be in plain English and include sufficient detail to facilitate search and discovery. Always
description Description Human-readable description (e.g., an abstract) with sufficient detail to enable a user to quickly understand whether the asset is of interest. Always
keyword Tags Tags (or keywords) help users discover your dataset; please include terms that would be used by technical and non-technical users. Always
modified Last Update Most recent date on which the dataset was changed, updated or modified. Always
publisher Publisher The publishing entity and optionally their parent organization(s). Always
contactPoint Contact Name and Email Contact person's name and email for the asset. Always
identifier Unique Identifier A unique identifier for the dataset or API as maintained within an Agency catalog or database. Always
accessLevel Public Access Level The degree to which this dataset could be made publicly-available, regardless of whether it has been made available. Choices: public (Data asset is or could be made publicly available to all without restrictions), restricted public (Data asset is available under certain use restrictions), or non-public (Data asset is not available to members of the public). Always
license License The license or non-license (i.e. Public Domain) status with which the dataset or API has been published. See Open Licenses for more information. If-Applicable
rights Rights This may include information regarding access or restrictions based on privacy, security, or other policies. This should also serve as an explanation for the selected “accessLevel” including instructions for how to access a restricted file, if applicable, or explanation for why a “non-public” or “restricted public” data asset is not “public,” if applicable. Text, 255 characters. If-Applicable
spatial Spatial The range of spatial applicability of a dataset. Could include a spatial region like a bounding box or a named place. If-Applicable
temporal Temporal The range of temporal applicability of a dataset (i.e., a start and end date of applicability for the data). If-Applicable
distribution Distribution A container for the array of Distribution objects. See Dataset Distribution Fields below for details. If-Applicable
@type Metadata Type IRI for the JSON-LD data type. This should be dcat:Dataset for each Dataset. No
accrualPeriodicity Frequency The frequency with which dataset is published. No
conformsTo Data Standard URI used to identify a standardized specification the dataset conforms to. No
describedBy Data Dictionary URL to the data dictionary for the dataset. Note that documentation other than a data dictionary can be referenced using Related Documents (references). No
describedByType Data Dictionary Type The machine-readable file format (IANA Media Type also known as MIME Type) of the dataset's Data Dictionary (describedBy). No
isPartOf Collection The collection of which the dataset is a subset. No
issued Release Date Date of formal issuance. No
language Language The language of the dataset. No
landingPage Homepage URL This field is not intended for an agency's homepage (e.g., but rather if a dataset has a human-friendly hub or landing page that users can be directed to for all resources tied to the dataset. No
references Related Documents Related documents such as technical information about a dataset, developer documentation, etc. No
theme Category Main thematic category of the dataset. No

Federal Dataset Fields

The U.S. federal requirement also requires the following metadata fields. You should consider requiring local department codes, systems of record, and associated IT spending if helpful for your open data catalog. If you do not have unique governmentwide codes related to these areas, you might consider creating those.

Field Label Definition Required
bureauCodeUSG Bureau Code Federal agencies, combined agency and bureau code from OMB Circular A-11, Appendix C (PDF, CSV) in the format of 015:11. Always
programCodeUSG Program Code Federal agencies, list the primary program related to this data asset, from the Federal Program Inventory. Use the format of 015:001. Always
dataQualityUSG Data Quality Whether the dataset meets the agency's Information Quality Guidelines (true/false). No
primaryITInvestmentUIIUSG Primary IT Investment UII For linking a dataset with an IT Unique Investment Identifier (UII). No
systemOfRecordsUSG System of Records If the system is designated as a system of records under the Privacy Act of 1974, provide the URL to the System of Records Notice related to this dataset. No

results matching ""

    No results matching ""