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LCA Metadata: Challenges and Opportunities
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Metadata is essential for resource management, discovery, and usability. Descriptive metadata is especially important for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies, which rely on precise measurements, calculations, and contextual information to ascertain a product or process’s relevance to a production or Life Cycle model. Without sufficient descriptive metadata detailing LCA components such as methods, sampling procedures, technical details, and geographic specificity, it is difficult or impossible for users to understand, reuse, validate, or draw conclusions from the data. Administrative metadata is also essential to LCA data documentation. Administrative metadata, which captures resource information such as provenance, access and use restrictions, authenticity, and file formats, not only aids users in discerning potential and acceptable data uses, but also assists data managers in ensuring and improving data access. This poster will outline the benefits of and need for extensive descriptive and administrative metadata documenting LCA studies. It will also address the Life Cycle Assessment Commons (LCAC) schema, a metadata standard for LCAC data sets, as well as current LCA metadata standards such as ILCD (International Reference Life Cycle Data System) and EcoSpold versions 1 and 2.