SND's goal is for data shared through our services to be easy to find and described in a way that make them adhere to the FAIR principles as far as possible.

Metadata created in SND's system are distributed to various other services and infrastructures. It is therefore important to make use of the opportunities available to give datasets structured descriptions so that the correct information can reach out and become findable.

SND's metadata structure is based on the metadata standard Data Documentation Initiative (DDI Lifecycle 3.3) and DataCite's recommendations. Whenever possible, we use international and established controlled vocabularies and keyword lists (known as thesauri), which are also used by other infrastructures (more information on this below).

As we aim to make data description and sharing simple and accessible for researchers from various disciplines, SND has developed subject-specific metadata profiles. There is a common foundation, a comprehensive metadata profile called SND Master, which includes all metadata elements and the properties supported by SND's system. Relevant metadata elements are retrieved from the master profile and presented in the various specific profiles. The goal is to offer subject-specific profiles that match the top level of the OECD Fields of Research and Development classification (FORD) as well as the Swedish standard for classification of research subjects from Statistics Sweden (SCB).

The documentation for all of SND's metadata profiles is published on Zenodo

The master profile specifies a number of metadata elements that are mandatory for all common subject profiles, which are specified in the documentation for SND Master. Each profile can contain additional mandatory elements, which are outlined in the documentation for that profile.

The subject-specific profiles are developed according to domain-specific metadata standards and international infrastructures. For example, the Social Sciences profile meets CESSDA's metadata requirements, the Language Resources profile is interoperable with the metadata schema used by CLARIN, and the profile for Earth and Related Environmental Sciences meets requirements from both ISO 19115 and INSPIRE.

SND’s current metadata profiles

In addition to the specific metadata profiles, SND also offers a general profile that can be used for data that do not naturally fit into any of the other profiles.

We are currently developing metadata profiles for Veterinary Science as well as for the Humanities and the Arts.


Controlled vocabularies and keyword lists

SND’s system supports the following keyword lists:

  • AAT The art & Architecture Thesaurus
  • AGROVOC Vocabulary for Agricultural Sciences
  • ALLFO Allmän finländsk ontologi
  • ELSST The European Language Social Science Thesaurus
  • EnvThes Environmental Thesaurus
  • FISH Monument Types FISH Thesaurus Monument Types
  • GCMD Vocabulary for Earth Science
  • GEMET General Multilingual Environmental Thesaurus
  • ICD-10 International Classification of Diseases
  • MeSH Medical Subject Headings
  • NASA Thesaurus NASA STI Thesaurus

Controlled vocabularies for specific metadata elements are presented in the documentation for the profiles. Generally, vocabularies from standards such as DDI and Dublin Core, as well as from CESSDA and DataCite, are used. Additional vocabularies may be utilized; for instance, GeoNames is used for geographic information, and the ISO standard ISO-639 is used for language codes.

In cases where there are no machine-readable vocabularies, SND has developed its own lists based on other established keyword lists. For example, vocabularies from the Swedish National Heritage Board are used for types of archaeological remains and types of archaeological investigations, and for historical time periods, we use terms developed in collaboration with ARIADNE and published in PeriodO.


Formats for exporting metadata

The SND research data catalogue offers multiple formats for exporting metadata, to make metadata accessible for various machine processes.
The following metadata formats are available for all datasets in the research data catalogue:

In addition to these formats, there are metadata formats that are only available for certain metadata profiles:


Entry level profile

In addition to the aforementioned metadata profiles, there is also an entry level profile for registering data. This is a minimal metadata profile that meets DataCite's requirements for assigning a dataset a DOI. This profile is not covered by SND's certification as a Trusted Digital Repository and can only be selected at the organizational level for research principals in the SND network who store data locally. Datasets described with this profile only partially comply with the FAIR principles and contain information about this in the research data catalogue.

If your organization is interested in using the entry level profile, please contact