PPSR_CORE Metadata Standard

Overview

Over the fall of 2013, organizations supporting citizen science came to a landmark agreement - to share basic information across databases that catalog citizen science projects.

The collaborative success for citizen science and public participation in scientific research (PPSR) led to the development of the PPSR_CORE Program Data Model Metadata Standard / data sharing protocol.

Sharing information across databases maximizes everyone's efforts, getting more "bang for the buck" out of information about citizen science projects everywhere. It leads to current, up-to-date, and synchronized project lists and a broader understanding about citizen science globally.

The Need

With the proliferation of citizen science, a number of organizations have been cataloging projects to offer support, network practitioners, and/or track outcomes. These efforts are complementary. Up-to-date information about citizen science projects is valuable to both project leaders and researchers, but the task of entering and maintaining this information in multiple places is cumbersome.

The Significance

By agreeing to openly share core data fields about projects, the citizen science community benefits:

  • project leaders can add and edit information about their project in a single place of choice
  • project information can be shared and synchronized automatically across all participating databases
  • project updates in one database are reflected, in real time, across multiple databases serving a variety of purposes
  • those searching for projects can do so from any provider and be confident results contain the most up-to-date information

The Team

Several core founding organizations started the PPSR_CORE initiative (below) and we are now forming an international working group to continue this important work.

Following the PPSR Core meta data standards and using an open Creative Commons license (CC-SA), SciStarter has a functioning API to pull in bulk or programmatic additions of projects. SciStarter also has an open API to share projects by opening access to others who wish to search, retrieve, and display project information. The SciStarter API is documented at http://scistarter.com/api.html

Moving Forward

The Citizen Science Association will maintain oversight of these standards, and guide terms of use for sharing of public, private, and government data. For now, these standards describe a core set of fields. Organizations are invited to propose and build extensions that can enhance these standards, such as extensions that describe a particular subset of projects or project features. As keystone databases such as SciStarter, CitSci.org, and CitizenScience.org adopt and use these metadata standards, it is to the greatest advantage of all in the field to adopt and join in the process of enhancing and improving these standards to the benefit of all.


PPSR_CORE Metadata


Required Fields

Below are required metadata fields, formats, and descriptions.

ID Field Data Type Required Vocabulary Description

1

ProjectGUID

GUID

Y

A Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) for each PPSR project

2

ProjectName

text

Y

Name of project

3

ProjectDataProvider

text

Y

Name of data provider / source / initial first registry

4

ProjectDescription

text

Y

Description of project related to aspects such as goals, objectives, purpose, vision, etc.  A one-line description that is is public participation-oriented. No minimum / maximum.

7

ProjectDateLastUpdated

ISO 8601 DateTime  (UTC)

Y

Date the project information was last updated; (required in DBs but not in XML)

9

ProjectContactName

Person Object / Construct

Y

Primary contact first and last name

13

ProjectStatus

text / categorical

Y

Starting, active, complete, hiatus

Current status of the project activity


Optional Fields

Below are optional metadata fields, formats, and descriptions.


ID Field Data Type Required Vocabulary Description

5

ProjectStartYear

ISO 8601 Year (UTC)

N

Year project started (not date volunteers begin participation)

6

ProjectEndDate

ISO 8601 Date  (UTC)

N

End date of project if applicable

8

ProjectCoordinator

Person Object/Construct

N

First and last name of primary project coordinator

10

ProjectContactEmail

text

N

Primary contact email

11

ProjectContactPhone

text

N

Primary contact phone

12

ProjectContactAddress

text

N

Primary contact mailing address

14

ProjectNumParticipants

int

N

Total number of registered participants

15

ProjectNumActiveParticipants

int

N

Number of active participants based on project's definition of activity

16

ProjectActiveParticipantDefinition

text

N

Definition used by the project for an "active participant"

17

ProjectNumObservations

int

N

Number of observations of a given location/object (e.g., visit to plot on earth, observation of galaxy, observation of digital herbarium record on a given date/time; temporal in nature)

18

ProjectNumPublications

int

N

Number of peer reviewed publications

19

ProjectNumReports

int

N

Number of reports/grey literature publications

20

PersonFirstName

text

N

Additional contact person details if desired

21

PersonLastName

text

N

Additional contact person details if desired

22

PersonEmail

text

N

Additional contact person details if desired

23

PersonAddress

text

N

Additional contact person details if desired

24

PersonPhone

text

N

Additional contact person details if desired

25

ProjectInstitutionName

text

N

Institution supporting the project

26

ProjectOrganization

text

N

Organization supporting the project

27

ProjectVolunteerSupport

text / categorical

N

-- Select --

The training, communication, incentives, and other forms of support that the project offers its volunteers.

28

ProjectURL

text

N

URL for project home page

29

ProjectFacebook

text

N

URL for project Facebook page or group

30

ProjectTwitter

text

N

Project Twitter handle

31

ProjectPartners

text

N

List of project partners

32

ProjectScientificPartners

text

N

List of scientific collaborators; i.e. scientists or academic departments using the data collected

33

ProjectSector

text / categorical

N

-- Select --

Project sector description

34

ProjectGeospatialRange

text

N

-- Select --

To define active range - could be continental/state/province/counties/etc.  Use the EML standard for inspiration?

35

ProjectCoverageBoundary

WKT data / many LL coordinates / Polygonal data

N

User-defined polygon

36

ProjectPinLatittude

floating point

N

Latitude coordinate in geographic decimal degrees for the center or home base of the project best representing the project's location as a point.

37

ProjectPinLongitude

floating point

N

Longitude coordinate in geographic decimal degrees for the center or home base of the project best representing the project's location as a point.

38

ProjectTags (or ProjectKeywords)

text

N

List of tags to assist with searching and filtering.

39

ProjectMetadata

text

N

Catch-all for any project-specific data administrators want to make available.

40

ProjectKeywords

text

N

Comma, delimited (no formal structure)


Examples


Sample Response (JSON)


{
    "ProjectGUID":"/PPSR_CORE/citsci.org/654",
    "ProjectName":"Nature in the City Biodiversity project",
    "ProjectDataProvider":"CitSci.org",
    "ProjectDescription":"Nature in the City Biodiversity Project is a citizen science program to...",
    "ProjectDateLastUpdated":"06/22/2015",
    "ProjectContactName":"Cooper Farr",
    "ProjectContactEmail":"cooper.farr@colostate.edu",
    "ProjectStatus":"starting",
    "ProjectOrganization":"City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Program",
    "ProjectURL":"http://www.citsci.org/cwis438/Browse/Project/Project_Info.php?ProjectID=654",
    "ProjectFacebook":"",
    "ProjectTwitter":"#YourHandle",
    "ProjectKeywords":"Biodiversity Hotspot, Fort Collins, Colorado State University... ",
    "fundingSource":"U.S. National Science Foundation Project",
    "projectBlog":"",
    "projectImage":"http://www.citsci.org/UserUploads/5064/Media/_display/BiodiversityProjectLogo.jpg"
}