CoP on data standards

What is the CoP on data standards

The international Community of Practice on data standards (CoP) is an informal network of representatives in EU Member States and other countries, such as Japan and the U.S., for sharing knowledge and experience on data standards, primarily on core data models and reference data.

The European Interoperability Reference Architecture (EIRA) defines:

Data standard as “a structural metadata specification that describes or defines other data. Structural metadata indicates how compound objects are put together. It can consist of among others data models, reference data, and identifier schemas”.

Core data models as: “reusable data models that are defined, managed, promoted and maintained centrally to facilitate interoperability across different systems, applications and domains”.

Reference data as “small, discrete sets of values that are not updated as part of business transactions but are usually used to impose consistent classification. Reference data normally has a low update frequency. Reference data is relevant across more than one business systems belonging to different organisations and sectors”.

The Community of Practice has the following goals:

  • To identify and share good practices and lessons-learned;
  • To set up a repository of frameworks, tools and services for data standards, increasing the visibility of existing initiatives in the field, and providing an entry point of expertise and knowledge for new initiatives;
  • To create mappings between core data models;
  • To join forces and identify opportunities for alignment and standardisation of data standards;
  • To propose ideas for new activities and project which could be supported by the ISA² programme following the normal process of the ISA Work Programme execution.

>>Find here the Charter of the Community of Practice on Core Data Models<<

The ever increasing volume of information exchanged within and between different organisations at both national and EU level requires setting up solutions that facilitate its automatic processing. Whilst technological developments offer various means to automate the exchange of information, technological developments alone cannot guarantee greater interoperability between information systems. A fundamental aspect is the need for common data standards (data models and/or reference data).

Better coordination requires metadata governance and metadata management. By setting up proper metadata governance, metadata management and tools, public administrations greatly enhance their potential for coordination and interoperability and ultimately the possibilities for sharing and re-use of metadata.

SEMIC CoP on data standards The "Methodology and tools for Metadata Governance and Management for EU Institutions and Member States" report contains a generic specification for metadata governance and metadata management that may be used by EU institutions and Member States. Also, the report identifies metadata standards and metadata tools, and it indicates existing tools that are readily available and already used within the EU institutions to support the metadata lifecycle management process. The report concludes by suggesting the promotion of the generic specification, the promotion of the existing metadata tools and the enhancement of their integration using the open standards and specifications identified in the report.


Follow the training module below to learn more about reference data Management.



How to communicate with the CoP

Meetings of the CoP


These pilots were intended as a proof-of-concept to demonstrate the applicability of metadata governance and management:

Metadata alignment pilot in the EU institutions and MSs (Named Authority Lists and EuroVoc thesaurus)

This pilot presents the results of testing practical solutions related to metadata alignment. It derives a number of lessons learnt and good practices.

In the context of the pilot, two practical exercises on metadata alignment were conducted:

  1. Metadata alignment between the Named Authority Lists of the Publications Office of the EU and other authority lists.
  2. The creation of a SKOS collection based on the EuroVoc thesaurus of the Publications Office of the EU by analysing several Open Data Portal at national and local level.

Metadata Management pilot for the Marine and Maritime environment

This pilot was specifically dedicated to metadata governance and management methodology defined in our report on Methodology and tools for Metadata Governance and Management for EU Institutions and Member States. The pilot adapted those tools to specific requirements of the Marine and Maritime domain with a focus on the Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE) for Maritime Surveillance led by DG MARE.

Reference data management for State-aid control with DG COMP

This pilot consisted of a Metadata Management Model for Competition policy areas where the European Commission exchanges information both internally and with European public administrations present in every Member States. The pilot particularly encompassed state-aid systems of DG COMPETITION.

Core Data Model Mapping Directory

The Core Data Model Mapping Directory is the source for information for those looking to reuse and extend the Core Vocabularies, and also support the development of semantically interoperable systems, allowing public administrations to discover the Core Vocabularies and their mappings to other existing core data models.

Read more about governance and management of data standards



Metadata management requirements and existing solutions in EU Institutions and Member States

(May 2014)

This report presents the findings of the study on metadata management requirements, governance and existing solutions in EU Institutions and Member States

Methodology and tools for Metadata Governance and Management for EU Institutions and Member States

(December 2014)

This report contains the requirements and specifications for the governance and management of structural metadata as well as for metadata tools that may be used by EU institutions and Member States.

Towards a common policy for the management of persistent HTTP URIs by EU Institutions

(November 2014)

This report presents the ongoing work of an informal, inter-institutional Task Force on a common approach for the management of persistent, HTTP-based, Uniform Resource Identifiers (HTTP URIs) by EU institutions.

Training Module 3 - Reference data

(June 2014)

This training module will help you develop have an understanding of:

  • What reference data is, its context and purpose and how it creates value for organisations.
  • Why it is important to manage and govern the reference data lifecycle.
  • How to work with reference data using open-source tools.

Metadata management requirements and solutions in EUIs and MSs

(June 2014)

This report presents the results of a study on metadata management and governance practices and methodologies, and reusable of metadata tools currently used by EU Institutions and Member States

Process and methodology for developing semantic agreements

(June 2013)

This report describes the process and methodology for the development of common models and specific data entities that can be used as a basis for interoperability among information systems.

10 Rules for persistent URIs

(March 2013)

This report documents a survey performed by ISA² programme Action 2.1 on Semantic Interoperability in order to explore good practices on the publication of Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI), both in terms of format and of their design rules and management.

Process and Methodology for Developing Core Vocabularies

(November 2011)

This document outlines the process and methodology used for the development of Core Vocabularies in the context of Action 2.1.