Metadata requirements

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Metadata requirements identify the entities the system must track and the kinds of information about them it must capture in order to do the things specified by the functional requirements. The requirements provide:

  • Parameters for designing the system.
  • Criteria for testing the system (used in initial release and future iterations and upgrades).
  • Planning guidelines for developing the system (identify data not currently captured).
  • Documentation for standards compliance (link requirements to relevant international or national descriptive standards).


Metadata requirements are organized hierarchically, with high-level requirements broken down into sub- and sub-sub-requirements. To facilitate cross-references and links, each requirement has been assigned an alpha-numeric code: the alpha prefix designates the type of requirement (MR = mateadata requirement), the number establishes its position in the hierarchy. Seven main metadata requirements have been identified:


Each metadata requirement includes some or all of the following information:

  • Requirement number: MR-x.x.x, unique tracking number assigned to requirement.
  • Requirement name: descriptive name assigned to requirement.
  • Specification: brief description of requirement; what data must the application be able to capture?
  • Context (parent requirements): links to higher-level metadata requirements, if applicable.
  • Sub-requirements: links to lower-level metadata requirements, if applicable.
  • Source quotations: links to standards or other documents: why must the application capture this data.
  • Associated functional requirements: what functionality requires the application to capture this data.
  • Associated quality requirements: what design and interface features must the application have to capture the data well.
  • Associated technical requirements: what system architecture, hardware / software configurations, and programming rules must the application implement to capture the data.
  • ICA-AtoM implementation: what fields in ICA-AtoM store the data.
  • Known issues: brief indication of known problems or limitations in the current version of ICA-AtoM that should be addressed in future releases.
  • Use cases: links to descriptions of user-end scenarios relating to the requirement and how they are handled in ICA-AtoM.
  • User Manual sections: links to the User manual sections that provide step-by-step instructions for capturing the data.

Note that most of this detail will only be found at the lower-level requirements. Higher-level requirements will typically only include the requirement name, number, specification, and source quotation, with links to the lower-level sub-requirements.

Index of metadata requirements

The following is the full index to all metadata requirements identified to date.

MR-1 Record information about archival materials

MR-2 Record information about actors

MR-3 Record information about archival institutions

MR-4 Record information about controlled terms

MR-5 Record information about descriptions

MR-6 Record information about relationships between descriptions

MR-7 Record information about users

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