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Standards needed for publishing datasets

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OECD is urging the industry to adopt standards for bibliographic dataset metadata and linking to help overcome current problems with discovering and citing data.

In a new white paper, Toby Green, head of publishing at OECD, highlights the problems that users have in locating and referencing online data. Although datasets are a significant part of the scholarly record and are now being published much more frequently they have widely inconsistent metadata, links and citations.

The OECD paper proposes implementing bibliographic metadata standards based on existing scholarly metadata standards. These would use the discovery channels that are already used by e-journals and e-books, including library systems, cross reference linking, publishing platforms, and search engines. Such standards should provide users and librarians with data that is as accessible and as easy to find and catalogue as written works like journal articles and book chapters.