As a practitioner whose interests in information strategy are relevant in both the public and commercial sectors, I am always intrigued when I see good ideas in one sector that can be applied in practice across many administrative environments. This month's column is about one of those ideas - what it is, what it entails and why I am hopeful for its success.

In the past, I have referred to the ISO/IEC 11179 standard for meta data registries, which is a relatively straightforward specification of a registry for both describing and managing meta data. The standard itself, which can be viewed at http://metadata-standards.org/11179/, provides a very good introduction to meta data concepts, including a lot of insight into some aspects of the granularity of meta data, approaches to its management and suggestions about naming conventions.

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