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The UK's largest digital collection of social sciences and population research data


The MetaDater project’s main objectives were to create a generic data model and standards to describe large scale comparative surveys over space and time. Software tools to create and manage respective metadata were also developed.

Overarching objectives of the MetaDater project were to develop standards for the description of large scale comparative surveys over space and time and provide tools for metadata creation and management for such surveys. In order to achieve these objectives, the MetaDater project developed a comprehensive data model for comparative surveys and developed tools for metadata management in survey research.

The conceptual data model developed to describe large scale comparative surveys over space and time was made available for scientific use. The international standard committee, the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI), reviewed this model to support recent developments to describe the whole lifecycle of social science data. The relational data model was implemented on database systems at the partner archives and it is hoped that the software prototypes will be further developed for adoption by a wider community.

The resulting standards and the tools were applied to test technical harmonisation and integration of survey data held by data providers in the participating countries. By making the standards and tools available to academic and commercial research and through publishing the standards, the MetaDater project contributed to best practice in survey data resource sharing and data distribution. It also facilitated next generation processing and analysis of huge amounts of data in order to increase empirical evidence and knowledge about European and global socio-economic developments.

Archive contribution

Principal Investigator: Hilary Beedham
Funder: EU IHP-Programme - Fifth Framework
Dates: December 2002 - November 2005
Contact: UK Data Service