A subject is a term, keyword, classification code or phrase representing the primary topic or topics covered by a registry object. This information answers the questions: What subject terms describe the topic of this object? What is it about?
Subjects support searching and discovery in Research Data Australia.
Use Subject to associate activities with the field of activity, collections with the subject matter of items in the collection, and parties with a field of activity or occupation. Services can be assigned subjects and may also be associated with a topic through the collections which they support.
Subject Type records the name of an authoritative list or controlled vocabulary from which a subject term or phrase is taken or that governs its form.
A Subject Type is optional. If used, preferably specify a type using the Subject Type vocabulary below. Values for Subject Type may also be taken from the Library of Congress Source Codes for Subjects list.
ANZSRC codes are the preferred vocabulary for describing research domain entities and activities in the RDA Registry.
|anzsrc-for||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification: Field of Research codes|
|anzsrc-toa||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification: Type of Activity|
|anzsrc-seo||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification: Socio-economic Objective codes|
|apt||Australian Pictorial Thesaurus (not currently maintained)|
|gcmd||Global Change Master Directory Keywords. Commonly used in the earth sciences.|
|iso639||International Standard for language codes|
|lcsh||Library of Congress Subject Headings|
|pont||Powerhouse Museum Object Name Thesaurus|
|scot||Schools Online Thesaurus|
|psychit||Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms|
|local||A local subject keyword: may be controlled or uncontrolled|
If you would like a new Subject Type to be included in the vocabulary, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Term Identifier attribute
Many subject terms come from controlled vocabularies or classification schemes which can be represented by unique codes or persistent URIs, which resolve to further explanation about the term or are “linked data” URIs; the TermIdentifier attribute allows these codes and URIs to be included. Research Data Australia is not currently using term identifiers, but they will be integral to future integration with the Research Vocabularies Australia controlled vocabulary service and Research Data Australia. Contributors are encouraged to provide term identifiers in anticipation of these developments.
The language in which the subject metadata is recorded may be included in the Lang attribute, but is not displayed or searchable in Research Data Australia. The RDA Registry accepts language codes consistent with IETF's BCP (Best Current Practice) 47: Tags for Identifying Languages (incorporating RFC 5646). Language codes may be selected from:
- All Subject values are displayed and searchable and add to the findability of information in Research Data Australia.
- Subject Types are displayed to provide the source authority for Subject values.
- The following Subject Types when used, are available for filtering search results: anzsrc-for (all searches); and anzsrc-seo, gcmd, lcsh (Library of Congress Subject Headings), apt (Australian Pictorial Thesaurus), pmont (Powerhouse Museum Object Name Thesaurus), psychit (Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms) (advanced search only)
- The corresponding labels for the ANZSRC codes entered in Subject are displayed in Research Data Australia, e.g. anzsrc-for code '040310' displays as 'Sedimentology' in Research Data Australia.
- @termIdentifier does not currently display; this may change with future enhancements to Research Data Australia.
- Include at least one ANZSRC code in every RIF-CS record contributed to Research Data Australia (2-digit, 4-digit, or 6-digit codes can be used). FOR codes are preferred (the relevant code for a given research project is usually included in grant documents and is likely to be known to researchers).
- Record Subject Type, e.g. “anzsrc-for”.
- Only include the code, not the label in RIF-CS records; labels are automatically displayed in Research Data Australia.
- The ANZSRC codes should be supplemented with other subject terms or keywords needed to describe the intellectual content of an activity, collection, or service. Use of other discipline-specific controlled vocabularies will improve discovery (search for suitable vocabularies in Research Vocabularies Australia)
- Record the type of controlled vocabulary from which the discipline-specific keyword or term was sourced.
- Local values or keywords that are not part of controlled vocabularies may also assist discovery and therefore can be used.
- Include Term Identifiers if they are available.
Best practice for parties as subjects
- Include a party as a subject where the party is the subject or topic of the collection, for example a collection of an individual's research papers and memorabilia, or a collection of documents and photographs relating to a company.
- This is described by including the party in the Subject element for that collection, rather than by creating a Party record for the person or group.
- Use the collection's Subject element to describe parties as subjects by including their name term and referencing the relevant name authority as the Type.
- Include a global identifier such as ORCID, or an NLA Party Identifier in @termIdentifier.
- Do not link a collection to an existing party record and create ad hoc Relation Types such as 'isSubjectOf'.
|April 2010||Consultation draft|
|26 Oct 2010||First web publication|
|21 Nov 2011||Added termIdentifier information, effective from introduction of RIF-CS v1.3.0 from 7 December 2011; how to describe parties as subjects|
|26 Jun 2012||Added information about use of subject types and term identifiers|
|20 Nov 2012||Added link to information about the prototype vocabulary service|
|7 May 2014|
Review carried out: minor edits, corrections and ordering of information. ORCID termIdentifier examples given.
|18 Nov 2014||Added information about the gcmd subject type which was added with RIF-CS v1.6.0|
|18 July 2017||Content reviewed and updated.|
|10 Dec 2018||Updating coding for LCSH example|