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Effective data sharing, across government agencies and other organisations, relies upon agreed meanings and representations. A key, technological challenge in electronic governance is to ensure that the meaning of data items is accurately recorded, and accessible in an economical-effectively, automatic - fashion. In response, a variety of data and metadata standards have been put forward: from government departments, from industry groups, and from organisations such as the ISO and W3C. This paper shows how the leading standard for metadata registration - ISO 11179 - can be deployed without the need for a single, monolithic conceptualisation of the domain, and hence without the need for universal agreement upon a particular model of electronic governance. The advantages of this approach are discussed with regard to the UK eGovern-ment Interoperability Framework (eGIF) and the UK Integrated Public Sector Vocabulary (IPSV). Copyright 2008 ACM.

Original publication




Conference paper

Publication Date





67 - 75