Metadata element content validation

The Metadata check supports the evaluation of metadata element values using either predefined or custom XPath expressions based on national, international or ESRI-specific metadata element tags. The Metadata check includes predefined XPath expressions that you can use to determine whether specific metadata elements are missing or blank. These predefined XPath expressions can also help you determine whether element values conform to established formatting standards commonly found in metadata.

The Metadata check's predefined expressions include the following:

Predefined expression


Invalid Date

Returns metadata elements that contain invalid date values or are incorrectly formatted. Valid date formats include:

  • ISO-8601 date standard YYYY-MM-DD,YYYY-MM ,YYYY
  • ANSI X3.30-1985 date standard YYYYMMDD, YYYYMM, YYYY

Invalid Email

Returns metadata elements that contain incorrectly formatted e-mail addresses based on RFC 5322/5321 standards. Valid formats include:

  • local_part@domain

Invalid U.S. Phone

Returns metadata elements that contain incorrectly formatted U.S. phone numbers based on the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). Valid formats include:

  • (###) ###-####
  • ###-###-####

Invalid US ZIP Code

Returns metadata elements that contain poorly formatted U.S. ZIP Code values (5/9-digits). Valid formats include:

  • #####
  • #####-####

Is Null

Returns metadata elements that are missing or blank (including those elements populated with FGDC "hint" values in previous versions of ArcCatalog)

The Metadata check also includes support for custom XPath expressions, which allows advanced users to create and share complex XPath 1.0-compliant expressions to evaluate metadata element values either individually or against other metadata elements. The Metadata check supports editing and validation of XPath expressions and the assignment of custom status messages to communicate the nature and origin of the errors resulting from the expression.

Once a custom expression has been created, it can be saved to disk for reuse in other Metadata checks. These saved expressions can also be shared among different people in your organization to standardize the way metadata quality control is conducted and to minimize duplication of effort in creating these sometimes complex queries.

Interpreting error results

Metadata element content errors found using the Metadata check are logged to the active Reviewer session in a manner similar to results obtained when executing other checks. Unlike feature-based error results, the Metadata check stores each result's unique identifier in the IDENTIFIER field instead of the OBJECTID field.

Example of the Reviewer table with results from the Metadata check

Metadata content check results include a unique element reference (in the form of an XPath) for each element that fails to meet either a predefined or custom XPath expression. These element references are written to the IDENTIFIER field of the Reviewer table to uniquely identify metadata elements. For repeating metadata elements, an index number enclosed in square brackets is automatically added to assist you in determining which of the repeating elements failed validation.

The error result's REVIEWSTATUS attribute value is populated with an error status description and the element's failed value (if applicable). For predefined XPath expressions, the error status values are already defined for you, while custom XPath expression error values are defined by the creator of the XPath expression.

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