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Astrobiology Resource Metadata Standard (ARMS)

As part of the AHED project, we have been developing the Astrobiology Resource Metadata Standard (ARMS) to describe any astrobiology ‘resource’. An astrobiology resource is a type of electronic or physical artifact that is generated as a product of astrobiology research. Some common resource types include:

  • Datasets
  • Images
  • Video
  • Physical samples
  • Software
    • Scientific models
    • Data analysis scripts
  • Research papers
  • Presentations
  • Websites

ARMS Metadata Fields

To comply with ARMS, a resource must be accompanied by a standard set of astrobiology metadata that describes the resource and characterizes its content. The metadata must be expressed as an electronic record in one of the permissible metadata formats. (Details on these formats are still being developed.)

ARMS metadata fields include the following:

  • Resource Identification metadata (describing resource provenance, points of contact, versioning information, funding and support, and associated geospatial collection information):
    • Resource Name
    • Resource Type
    • Resource Locator
    • Lead Investigators
    • Institutions
    • Points of Contact
    • References
    • Initial Release Date
    • Last Revision Date
    • Funding Sources
    • Missions / Projects
    • Data Collection Locations
  • Content metadata (describing the resource and its relation to the broader astrobiological context):
    • Resource Description
    • NASA Astrobiology Program Research Topic
    • Astrobiology Keywords
    • Astrobiology Disciplines

ARMS in Action

ARMS is currently used in AHED to describe datasets, making it easier to discover them using search tools based on this metadata. Check out AHED Exploring tools and learn how ARMS is applied in AHED datasets.


ARMS is currently under development and continues to evolve rapidly. We are testing the metadata format with a small set of astrobiologists, and welcome your feedback. If you would like to learn more about ARMS or make use of it in your own project, please contact us.