The goal of single-window metadata search has been common across polar science and research communities for decades. Given the diversity of nations, institutions, and scientific communities that collect data in the polar regions, that goal has so far largely eluded us. At the moment, there are more than 50 data catalogues of significant interest to polar researchers. This fragmentation makes it difficult for potential data users to find the most relevant data to address a particular question.

We believe that the time is ripe to re-examine the opportunities for developing a federated search tool to discover polar data. Federated search allows users to search multiple metadata catalogues simultaneously, while avoiding many of the technical challenges associated with duplicating and translating metadata records between different standards. These challenges include mismatches between vocabularies, and the difficulty in keeping translated metadata records up-to-date when the original record is amended.

The Polar Federated Data Search Working Group is investigating options for developing the tools that underpin federated search for our community, while building on global initiatives and existing tools like GEOSS and the Arctic Data Explorer. The Working Group reports to the Arctic Data Committee (ADC), Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management (SCADM), and Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS). As well as exploring the available tools and platforms, the Working Group will seek funding and resources to develop federated search tools.

The Terms of Reference for the Polar Federated Search Working Group can be found here.

The objective of this activity is to develop recommendations on a common set of metadata elements relevant across Arctic sciences, to facilitate interoperability and sharing between Arctic data repositories and online portals. To start, this effort will focus on identifying Arctic data centres or initiatives that have established a metadata template/schema/profile etc.. Initially, a limited set of disciplines or focus areas will be identified to make the scope manageable. Wherever possible and practical, the effort will build on and/or contribute to other related initiatives.

ADC Task lead: Amos Hayes, Carlton University, Canada


Name  Institution
Amos Hayes Carleton University, Canada (Arctic Data Committee)
Pip Bricher Southern Ocean Observing System
Taco de Bruin NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Netherlands (SCADM)
Anton Van de Putte, Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management
Brendan Billingsley Billingsley Custom Software
Halldor Johansson Arctic Portal
Marten Tacoma NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Peter Pulsifer National Snow and Ice Data Centre, Arctic Data Committee
Stein Tronstad Norwegian Polar Institute
Thomas Vandenberghe Belgian Marine Data Centre
William Manley Institute of Arctic and Antarctic Research
Roger Proctor MOS/AODN

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