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content standard

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n. ~ A set of formal rules that specify the content, order, and syntax of information to promote consistency.

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A content standard goes beyond identifying the general type of information and indicates how to select between different, equivalent representations of the information and the manner the information is to be structured. For example, a content standard for a field called 'name' might indicate whether an individual's common or full name should be used and whether the name should be inverted. For example, Lewis Carroll might be entered as Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge. Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR) and Archives, Personal Papers, and Manuscripts (APPM) are examples of content standards.

Citations:
(Fox and Wilkerson 1998, p. 27) Data content standards govern the order, syntax, and form in which the data values are entered. For example, if Paul Joseph Smith is the authorized name in the authority file, the data content standard might specify that the last name be entered first, as in Smith, Paul Joseph.
(Weber 1989, p. 509) Standards for data contents and data construction provide guidelines for the content of the data structures. . . . Many data content standards are guidelines, namely 'rules for activities that should be applied as consistently as possible but which, by their nature, will not necessarily produce identical results even when followed.'