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Gregory J. Lestina, Jr., U.S. Bureau of the Census, 4401 Suitland Road, Washington DC
KEY WORDS: Metadata, repositories, survey design
The Bureau of the Census is developing a Statistical Metadata Content Standard to define the
necessary metadata to describe all aspects of survey design, processing, analysis, and data sets. The
draft standards document must be easily reviewed by subject matter experts. Our experience has
shown that information displayed in the format of a standard is not easily understood by experts
outside the standards community. In order to facilitate review and discussion, we chose to display
the standard in a format similar to a textbook's Table of Contents (TOC), with subsequent
information displayed in an outline format. To further facilitate review and comment, the TOC was
published in HTML format on the Bureau's World Wide Web server. Thus a reviewer, using internet
browsers such as Mosaic or Netscape, can traverse the document, display content sensitive help, such
as definitions, and leave behind comments as he/she scrutinizes the document.
In addition to displaying the standard, the TOC provides a mechanism for navigating and identifying
subjects of interest about surveys for data dissemination, survey design and documentation, and
process integration. The TOC also has certain system design implications. For example, it serves
as a mapping between tools for data dissemination and integrated processing. In addition, the TOC
is being used as a blueprint for building conceptual and logical data models for metadata repositories.
This paper will present a description of the TOC, a description of its uses, details of the Web
implementation, and a demonstration of the system.