Metadata Schema

The UN Data Catalog is based on the CKAN standard. For more detail on the accompanying API, please refer to the CKAN API guide. See examples. At present, the following fields are collected:


  • name (text)
    • A unique identifier for the dataset or API as maintained by an Agency (catalog or database).


  • title (text)
    • Human-readable name of the asset. Should be in plain English and include sufficient detail to facilitate search and discovery.

  • notes (text)
    • Human-readable description (e.g., an abstract) with sufficient detail to enable a user to quickly understand whether the asset is of interest.

  • resources (URL(s))
    • URL providing direct access to a downloadable file of a dataset.

  • url (URL)
    • Use if dataset has a human-friendly hub or landing page that users can be directed to for all resources tied to the dataset. This field is not intended for an agency’s homepage.


  • author (text)

  • publisher (text)
    • The publishing entity such as a department, division or service.

  • maintainer (text)
    • Contact point for seeking additional information regarding the dataset.

  • maintainer_email (email)
    • Contact point generic email for seeking additional information regarding the dataset.

  • rights (text)
    • This may include information regarding access or restrictions based on privacy, security, or other policies. This should also serve as an explanation for the selected “accessLevel” including instructions for how to access a restricted file, if applicable, or explanation for why a “non-public” or “restricted public” data asset is not “public,” if applicable.

  • contact_address (text)
    • Contact person's address for the asset


  • access_level (list - one value)
    • The degree to which this dataset could be made publicly-available, regardless of whether it has been made available. Choices: public (Data asset is or could be made publicly available to all without restrictions), restricted public (Data asset is available under certain use restrictions), or non-public (Data asset is not available to members of the public).
    • http://undatacatalog.org/api/3/action/tag_list?vocabulary_id=10

  • publisher_clearance (list - one value)
    • This field denotes whether the publishing organization has granted public access or not to the dataset. In other words, the final approval in the publishing workflow - Yes or No. If Yes, the dataset will be published on the catalog. If No, it will not be made public.
    • http://undatacatalog.org/api/3/action/tag_list?vocabulary_id=4






  • conforms_to (URL)
    • This is used to identify a standardized specification the dataset conforms to. If this is a technical specification associated with a particular serialization of a distribution, this should be specified with conformsTo at the distribution level. It’s recommended that this be a URI that serves as a unique identifier for the standard. The URI may or may not also be a URL that provides documentation of the specification.

  • described_by (URL)
    • Link to metadata dictionary





  • data_quality (boolean)
    • Boolean field to denote whether the dataset meets the publishing organization's own information quality or publishing guidelines.

  • release_date (date)
    • Date of formal issuance.

  • modified_date (date)
    • Most recent date on which the dataset was changed, updated or modified.

  • temporal_coverage (start date - end date)
    • The range of temporal applicability of a dataset (i.e., a start and end date of applicability for the data).
    • Two additional fields are available activity_period-from (start date) and activity_period-to (end date)


  • extras
    • Additional information that can't be mapped using the previous fields.