Learn about RIF-CS
This page is a self-paced introduction to RIF-CS for beginners.
Each section has a brief explanation of the topic, with optional links to more information. Some topics have learning activities to extend your understanding.
- What is RIF-CS?
- What does RIF-CS contain?
- Why RIF-CS instead of existing schemas?
- How do I create a collection record?
- What makes a "good" record?
- How does my metadata get to ANDS?
- What does ANDS do with my metadata?
- How does RIF-CS get changed?
- FAQ and tricky bits
- Test your knowledge
RIF-CS is a template, like an online form. The information that you put into the template is metadata about research data.
RIF-CS is a template in the form of an XML schema that sets out the structure of the information and what can be included.
- Find out more about metadata
- Read an introductory guide to RIF-CS
- Technical information about RIF-CS
The RIF-CS template lets you describe four different kinds of things in separate records; research collections including datasets, people and organisations (parties), projects and programs (activities) and services. It also lets you connect these descriptions to each other.
The RIF-CS template also has some administrative information to support record harvesting and management.
Learning Activity: Understanding RIF-CS elements [PDF 1.2MB]
Its all about links and relationships. RIF-CS lets you describe important things in the research environment (datasets, research collections, researchers, research organisations, projects, services) and link them together. RIF-CS is based on the ISO 2146 standard, a generic information standard that is not tied to any specific research domain.
Learning activity: How RIF-CS supports discovery
Step 1 Preparation
- Start by familiarising yourself with existing records in Research Data Australia. Look at records similar to the ones you will be creating.
- Find out what records look like—look behind Research Data Australia
Step 2 Logging in to ANDS Online Services
Step 3 Create practice records
- To get started, copy an existing record.
- Remember to change the record key and put your own data source information into the Record Administration tab, also remember to delete your practice records later.
Review the screenshots for each data entry tab in a collection record from here: Content Providers Guide
A "good" record is one that supports researchers in finding research data, deciding if the data is useful, accessing the data, and finally re-using or re-purposing the data in further research.
For a start, a good record has plenty of relevant information, is linked to other records and to external information, is not full of unexplained specialist jargon, and is accurate (check your spelling!).
- Metadata Content Requirements (what you must include)
- Content Providers Guide includes best practice information
- Quality metadata records and exemplars
Learning Activity: Gold standard records [PDF]
ANDS prefers to harvest RIF-CS metadata from your metadata store using the OAI-PMH protocol.
The process looks like this:
How do I turn my metadata into RIF-CS? Find out about mapping and crosswalks.
ANDS publishes your information into Research Data Australia.
ANDS also makes your records available for harvesting by others, such as the National Library of Australia's Trove discovery service.
The schema is changed after consultation with the RIF-CS Advisory Board.
Change proposals can be seen on the RIF-CS Schema Changes Discussion forum in the ANDS Community Bulletin Board (registration required to post to this forum).
For information about changes see RIF-CS Schema Change News.
A selection of helpful resources about RIF-CS, Trove, DOIs, and ANDS Online Services is at Guides, Training, Support
- Where do I get keys for my metadata records?
You need to decide this before you start. Options are described here.
- I am very confused about party records and Trove, how do I find out more?
Start with Trove training. If you need more help ask your Client Liaison Officer or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- My XML is seriously out of order.
XML must be provided in the order specified in the schema. If the XML is out of sequence, the record (not the entire harvest) will be rejected.
- The type I want to use isn't in the vocabulary.
Vocabularies are mostly open, and will accept types that are not in the ANDS-suggested vocabularies. Please consult email@example.com if you want your vocabulary added.
- ANDS controlled vocabularies don't seem to be controlled (i.e. versioned).
No, they are not. Since the vocabularies are open and evolving, this is not necessary.
- What does the Data Source Administrator job involve?
Basically you manage the sharing of metadata with ANDS and control how your records will display in Research Data Australia. More information about the Data Source Administrator role and about managing your data source account.
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