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Cluster Of Systems of Metadata for Official Statistics

COSMOS was an accompanying measure of five projects of the European Union Framework 5 research programme. It had several objectives, including the aim to build better metadata repositories by exchanging ideas and experiences in using metadata systems for the individual projects.

Cluster Of Systems of Metadata for Official Statistics (COSMOS) was an accompanying measure (Cluster) of five projects: FASTER; IPIS; IQML; METAWARE; and MISSION.

It had the following objectives:

  • to build better metadata repositories by exchanging ideas and experiences in using metadata systems for the individual projects
  • to identify a common set of metadata objects, with agreed definitions, attributes and methods
  • to implement a demonstration subset of these objects to show interoperability of the developed systems
  • to define a methodology for further developing this interoperability

The Cluster linked with other concertation activities in the area and international standards bodies, aiming to maximise the interchange between the key developers of the metadata models in each project, give an opportunity for all participating institutions to meet and exchange experiences and demonstrate the interoperability of the project outputs, while respecting the exigencies of each project plan.

COSMOS clearly demonstrated the potential benefits of bringing together research teams with similar or related goals in a formal manner. It is probably accurate to say that each of the projects in COSMOS benefited in some measure from the transfer of information and knowledge between partners. COSMOS also achieved a practical demonstration of web-based interoperability between projects, based on the results of the FASTER project. A number of issues would still need to be addressed in relation to further development of a common model but a base model was generated, with extensions, to accommodate the specific needs of each of the use cases that was demonstrated.

Archive contribution

The UK Data Archive contributed to COSMOS in a number of areas:

  • to the development of an object-oriented common conceptual model for statistics, (COSMOS common model) based on knowledge of the DDI standard and application of this within the FASTER project and the resulting Nesstar software
  • FASTER project architecture was further developed and enhanced to provide a common technical architecture for the publishing of statistics on the internet
  • using a subset of the COSMOS model and the enhanced web architecture, the UK Data Archive contributed to demonstrations of interoperability between Nesstar and at least one other project in the Cluster
  • leading the COSMOS strategy group, which will discuss and make recommendations on a number of issues, including organisational, technical and relating to data quality, that cannot be addressed within the resources available to the Cluster

Principal investigator:  Hilary Beedham
Funder:  European Union (EU)
Dates:  September 2001 - August 2003
Contact:  Hilary Beedham
Links:  COSMOS final report