It's time to discuss metadata!


Hello all,
Open Data services are working hard on the new registry for 360Giving data, and at the same time they are working on 360Giving metadata.

what is metadata?
Metadata is information about the data, or data about the data. It helps data users to understand what’s in the file and how to use it. It’s usually short pieces of information, and differ between files. For example - file format is metadata, contact person for queries about the dataset is metadata as well.

What are we working on?
360Giving already had some metadata content (see the metadata branch in the standard), but we are now working with some publishers and testing how the metadata scheme should look. We are trying to make it easy to use - adding a tab to a spreadsheet or schema to JSON (see more about it here).

You can see our proposed metadata schema and make comment on this thread. We should look at it to discuss change to standard as version 1.1.

@stevieflow, please add to this thread and correct me if I made an error in my description.

@davidkane, @alexvanvliet @lindah @NSmithSportEngland and @Wasim - have a look and let us know if you have questions. This is still work in progress, but I thought it is better to update about it now.


Thanks @mor.rubinstein

I’ve created an open file (to replace the link above) that illustrates how the proposed metadata fields would look for spreadsheet publishers:

We’ve also created a test version of the 360Giving Data Quality Tool that can read in such information - resulting in something like this:

As Mor highlights, this is part of a wider project. We’ve recently updated the 360Giving Registry to illustrate this:

Previously, the Registry only published basic information (file name, publisher, link) which 360 created centrally. Now, we have a process in place to derive metadata from the published data --> validity; period of grants; number of records; total value; file size, etc.

In turn, this can help us focus on what exactly could be included by publishers within their files, separate to the actual grants data. This is why we’ve started this process, and will continue to test and refine.

And yes, apologies if all this is a bit meta!


Hi @stevieflow @mor.rubinstein, interesting read, even if I got a little bamboozled by it!

In short, it seems you want to provide additional ‘headline’ data to people looking at data sets, like for example how up to date the data is, the number and value of records in a data set etc. In order to bring us all in line and have the same information displayed, we will need to complete this metadata tab?

If I am right and am not understanding this completely wrong, it seems quite sensible to me and should be easy enough for us to do; I can’t think of any other information that could be added, unless Funding Type in a data set is a useful category (capital/revenue/mixed)? Currency (£/Euros/USDollars etc.)? Geography (International/European/UK/England/London)? Type of funder (Charity/Government etc.)?

Other than that I don’t have any questions!


Hi Neil,

To you first question - yes, in the future all publishers will need to fill in the metadata tab. We will probably do it as organisation will re-publish their data, so you have a long way to go.

As for the type - some of these are vocabularies, some are derived from the data, which should be documented in the file as well. We might want to flag in the metadata about non £ grants, so we might want to add this to the metadata.