Linking attributes, linking systems: advancing knowledge translation in the Canadian Consortium for Arctic Data Interoperability
The Canadian Consortium for Arctic Data Interoperability (CCADI) aims to develop a research data infrastructure that facilitates information discovery, promotes the sharing of standards, and enables interoperability among existing Arctic data infrastructures at universities and institutions across Canada. To achieve the goal of interoperability, several issues regarding semantics and terminology must be considered. These include: the wide variety of data pertaining to the Arctic, ranging from climate and forecasting data and cryosphere and oceanographic data to social science data centring upon Inuit experiences of the landscape; the differences in terminological use between different data centres and institutional repositories; differences in the use and type of instrumentation; and the framework used for metadata cataloguing. This paper outlines our semantic strategies for the CCADI project. Through interaction with other organizations working with Arctic Data such as Arctic Data Committee-Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (ADC-SAON), Polar Data Discovery Enhancement Research (POLDER) Working Group, and Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), we focus on aligning ourselves with and leveraging work already in progress with respect to new and emerging standards and their vocabularies. Close collaboration with domain experts also helps us maintain balance between terminology that is too narrow and too broad while capturing the relationships between different groups’ terms without overly restricting them. Through a discussion of these issues and the steps taken to resolve them, we seek to document and share a usable workflow as an available roadmap for others working toward semantic interoperability in data-based initiatives.