Definition: Reference metadata
Reference metadata (sometimes called explanatory metadata) describes the contents and the quality of the statistical data from a semantic point of view. It includes explanatory texts on the context of the statistical data, methodologies for data collection and data aggregation as well as quality and dissemination characteristics. In Eurostat this information is presented in files based on a standardised format called ESMS (Euro SDMX Metadata Structure) This standard is based on previous standards (including the Standard Data Dissemination Standard developed by the International Monetary Fund) but has been substantially extended in order to include more information on data quality . These files are associated to the data series published by Eurostat on its web site.
Based on Eurostat, "Report of the Think Tank ESS Business Architecture", 16 June 2009, Internal document
Eurostat, "Terminology relating to the Implementation of the Vision on the Production Method of EU Statistics", W. Radermacher, A. Baigorri, D. Delcambre, W. Kloek, H. Linden, European Conference on Quality in Statistics 2010 (Q 2010), Luxembourg, 2010