Grounding Indigenous Rights in DataCite metadata

Local Contexts is an organization dedicated to supporting Indigenous communities to manage their intellectual and cultural property, cultural heritage, environmental data and genetic resources within digital environments. Local Contexts recognizes the inherent sovereignty that Indigenous communities have over knowledge and data that comes from their lands, territories, and waters. 

Local Contexts developed the Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Biocultural (BC) Labels with Indigenous communities as a tool for Indigenous communities to express already existing community rules, governance and protocols for using, sharing, and circulating knowledge and data. TK Labels are applied to cultural heritage that is digitally circulating outside community contexts, while BC Labels are applied to biocultural collections and data. Each Label is customized by the Indigenous community to reflect the specific community context. As a counterpart to TK and BC Labels, Notices were introduced as a tool for institutions and researchers to identify Indigenous collections and Indigenous interests in data. To facilitate communication between Indigenous communities, institutions, and researchers around the Labels and Notices, the Local Contexts Hub was created as a platform where communities can customize and apply their TK and BC Labels and for institutions to share Notices with communities.

In January 2022, DataCite and Local Contexts hosted a joint workshop to explore the connection between Local Contexts and DataCite. During this workshop, participants discussed how the Local Contexts Hub could be integrated into repository workflows and how to represent Notices and Labels within the DataCite Metadata Schema. Proposed guidelines for the Rights metadata field were workshopped by the 12 participants, who represented repositories in Canada, New Zealand, and the United States.

Following the workshop, we are pleased to share new guidelines for Local Contexts Notices and Labels in DataCite metadata. The recommendations make use of the Rights metadata property and its sub-properties to store relevant information, including the Local Contexts project URI and the text of the Notice or customized Label. Because Notices and Labels can change over time, including the project URI ensures that the most up-to-date version can be verified by checking the Hub. We thank all workshop participants for their contributions to the guidelines.

Is your institution or community already using the Local Contexts Hub and interested in updating your DataCite metadata with Labels and Notices? Contact us if you have any questions about applying the guidelines.

If your institution or community is interested in using the Local Contexts Hub or needs additional guidance on using Notices and Labels, please contact the Local Contexts team.

Janette Hamilton-Pearce
Felicia Garcia
Corrie Roe
Ashley Rojas