An ISO/IEC 11179 metadata registry (MDR) is a tool for the management of shareable data; a comprehensive, authoritative source of reference information about data. It supports the standardization and harmonization processes by recording and disseminating descriptions of data, which facilitates data sharing among organizations and users. It provides links to documents that refer to specific data elements, value domains, and classification schemes and to information systems where those objects are used. When used in conjunction with a database, the registry enables users to understand any information obtained from the database better.
A registry does not contain data itself. It contains the metadata that is necessary to clearly describe, inventory, analyse, and classify data. It provides an understanding of the meaning, representation, and identification of units of data. This International Standard identifies the information elements that need to be available for determining the meaning of data to be shared between systems.
The purpose of this Technical Report is to describe a set of procedures for the consistent registration of value domains and their attributes in a registry. This Technical Report is not a data entry manual, but a user's guide for conceptualizing a value domain and its components for the purpose of consistently establishing good quality metadata. An organization may adapt and/or add to these procedures as necessary.
1.3 Limits of this Technical Report
The scope of this Technical Report is limited to value domains, conceptual domains, and their associated attributes and relationships. Examples are used throughout the TR to illustrate the concepts described.
1.4 Registration approach - value domains and data elements
There is a choice when registering value domains in an MDR. Some Registration Authorities treat these sets as value domains, and others treat them as data elements. For the purposes of this Technical Report, the choice will always be to treat the sets as value domains unless explicitly stated. This choice is made to help illustrate the way to register many different kinds of value domains.