State of the Unit Working Group

The following is a brief summary of the Unit Working Group's past, current, and future goals and activities. For a more detailed view into the Unit Working Group’s history, see the milestones document. This page will be updated periodically by the Unit Working Group chairs.


  • 2005: Dictionary Process Working Group established to resolve differences in unit usage across the network
  • 2005: First Unit Registry application co-developed, residing at LNO; demoed to IMC; code available via SVN at LNO
  • 2007: Unit Task Force established to review individual units for inclusion in the Unit Registry
  • 2007: Unit Best Practices document created
  • 2008 IMC Meeting: Unit Registry re-scoped as a service; vetting proposed as a way to include all units in the Registry while indicating which have been reviewed; Unit Working Group established
  • Spring-Summer 2009: Unit Registry design documents released, reviewed
  • Summer 2009: Overhaul of Unit Best Practices; document split into guidelines and history/perspective document
  • 2009 IMC Meeting: Unit Registry service developed, demoed to IMC; Best Practices for unit naming reviewed and accepted at IMC; Content and Development Crews established
  • Winter 2009-2010: Content Crew reviews and corrects EML units
  • Winter 2009-2010: Unit Registry Developer Guide released to Development Crew
  • Spring 2010: Unit Registry interface developed, demoed to NISAC and IMC
  • Spring 2010: Post-ASM proposal funded
  • May 2010: Cross-site development meeting to integrate the Unit Registry in the KBS site data system
  • June 2010: Multi-site visit at LNO to migrate Unit Registry code to LNO servers and discuss ongoing support
  • August 2010: Cross-site development meeting to integrate the Unit Registry in the JRN site data system

Current Goals

  • Fall 2010 (ongoing): Content Crew to expand Unit Dictionary by entering custom units (along with corrected units where needed)
  • Winter-Spring 2011: Establish guidelines for vetting units, including:
    • How-to for vetting naming/abbreviation consistency
    • Resources for vetting 'scientific' questions (i.e. content and usage)
    • Feedback on management interface development to support vetting process
  • Spring 2011: Further cross-site design & development meetings, possibly with an emphasis on vetting and management

Future Plans

  • The Unit Working Group will arrange a training session on the usage of units from the Unit Dictionary, the usage of the Unit Registry interfaces, the vetting process, and the Best Practices
  • Documentation will continue to be updated, including the Best Practices and the Unit Registry Developer Guide
  • The Development Crew will continue to work with sites to integrate the Registry into site- and network-level applications. Proposed applications include:
    • EML Congruence Checker
    • Unit Conversion Tool
    • Metacat Attribute Search Tool