MetaStore User Documentation


MetaStore is the catch-all data publishing platform of the MPCDF. It is meant as a place to create and publish metadata, describing datasets stored in the various storage systems at MPCDF. Beside this use case, small datasets (<1GB) can be uploaded directly into MetaStore. Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) can be added to the describing metadata.

You can attribute to each dataset a DOI via DataCite. The page of your dataset on MetaStore will be then used as a landing page for the DOI. You can also create a DOI for your dataset later in time, and not necessarily directly at the upload of the dataset. You must just be careful that, once a DOI is created, you cannot delete it anymore.

Each dataset can contain at least one or more resources. A resource can be either an URL or an uploaded file (smaller than 1GB).

Who can use it

If your institute has an account on MetaStore, you can use it with this account. Know that in doing so, you are bound to the agreement with MPCDF about data quality.

MetaStore is not meant as a platform for the individual researcher. Instead, access and permissions are granted to Max Planck institutes, groups, departments or big research projects. As MetaStore supports nested organisations, it is possible to have groups or departments below a Max Planck Institute, but the top level alway has to be a MPI. If you are interested in using MetaStore, please name one or two administrators from your institute who will be in charge to manage your data publications. You can contact us via

Creating a dataset

There are several ways to create, update and delete datasets on MetaStore.

Supported dataset schemas

As the main use case of MetaStore is the assignment of DOIs, the default metadata set is DataCite’s metadata schema (in version 4.4). To keep the creation of metadata as easy and simple as possible, the default method of creating a metadata set in MetaStore offers the necessary key value fields as simple full text fields. In contrast, the extended metadata schema supports the full functionality of DataCite’s metadata schema, including the controled vocabulary. There are two metadata schemas allowed on MetaStore, all from DataCite.

Linking Data versus Uploading Data

The main use case for MetaStore is to create metadata and assign DOIs to existing datasets at the MPCDF. Without moving (big) datasets around, MetaStore provides a landing page and a DOI for this kind of data. It doesn’t matter where exactly the data is stored or how the data is accessible - MetaStore fullfills the “F” in FAIR which stands for “findable”. In addition, supplementary data like papers or visualizations can be uploaded to MetaStore directly. This goes also for small datasets: MetaStore allows the upload and publishing of files up to 1 GB directly via its web interface. For bigger datasets, it is recommended to store them on other storage at MPCDF like the Nexus S3 Storage Solution.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Technically spoken, a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a link, pointing to a landing page or directly to piece of data which is available via the World Wide Web. It is a so called persistent identifier (PID), which still should be available when the data behind it is no longer available. This property makes a DOI the perfect identifier for big datasets stored at MPCDF: when the data moves to another place, for example from Nexus S3 to the HPSS tape library, the DOI will still stay the same and references in research articles or other kinds of documents will still point to the data’s landing page, which is the record in MetaStore.