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Gregory J. Lestina, Jr., William P. LaPlant, Jr., Daniel W. Gillman, Martin V. Appel

Gregory J. Lestina, Jr., U.S. Bureau of the Census, 4401 Suitland Road, Washington DC 20233

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.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Statistical Research Division | (301) 763-3215 (or |   Last Revised: October 08, 2010