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The Group attribute should not be confused with the Party Type of "group". Although they may have names and values in common, these concepts have different purposes in the RDA Registry.

Meaning & purpose

Group is the name of the organisation that is contributing the metadata record, that is, the metadata publisher. It is a required attribute of the RegistryObject element.

The concept of Group is a way of bringing together Registry objects contributed by different data sources for discovery purposes (a data source is a harvest location for metadata to the RDA Registry). A data source doesn't 'belong' to a Group. One data source may contribute metadata which belongs in differing Groups; and different data sources can contribute metadata which belongs in the same Group. Ownership or custodian responsibility is not necessarily implied.


Diagram: Relationship between group, originating source and data source (illustrative only).

Use in Research Data Australia

The Group attribute is used as the basis for generating Contributor Pages, which automatically link all the collections, parties, activities, and services contributed by the organisation. 

Best practice

  • A group name is generally a top level organisation, such as a university.
  • Assign group name based on institutional affiliation.
  • For multi-institutional collections, parties and projects, assign a group name based on one of the institutions contributing the collection. Do not create duplicate Registry objects for the same data collection.
  • Group should be described using a plain text string set to the full name of the contributing organisation; for example, 'Australian National University'. Do not use acronyms. Do not use URIs or domains (for example, not 'ANU', not '').
  • Assignment to a Group automatically links the record to the relevant Contributor Page, which serves as an institutional party record; however, links to other related parties still need to be made.

XML encoding example

<registryObject group="Monash University">

Change history

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DateChange history
20 April 2010Consultation draft
26 Oct 2010First web publication
21 Nov 2011

Added clarification that group is both metadata publisher and a Research Data Australia display category

13 Jul 2012Added information about use of group attribute to support contributor pages
11 July 2017Reviewed content and updated Research Data Australia display information
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