What's new for metadata in ArcGIS 10.1
Creating standard-compliant metadata
All metadata styles provided with ArcGIS other than the Item Description style are designed to support creating formal metadata that follows a specific metadata standard or profile. These metadata styles now include a complete set of rules to guide you in creating metadata that complies with their associated metadata standard or profile.
A quick glance at the ArcGIS metadata editor's table of contents is all you need to see which pages you must use to provide required information. For each page with a red X, there will be a list at the top describing the problems occurring on that page. For example, a metadata element might be required for your metadata style, but it has no content. Or an integer might be required in an element, but text or a real number was provided instead.
When all information provided on a page is correct for a style's metadata standard, it will have a green check mark both in the editor's table of contents and at the top of the page.
Saving and loading contact information
Metadata styles that let you edit complete metadata for an item now include a Contacts Manager page that lets you save frequently used contact information. Then, on pages where you provide contact information, you can load contact information that was previously saved. This will add a copy of the saved contact information to the item's metadata.
Exporting metadata to ISO 19139 format
A new ArcGIS to ISO 19139 translator is provided, ARCGIS2ISO19139.xml. All ISO-based metadata styles have been updated to use this translator to export ArcGIS metadata to the ISO 19139 XML format. Existing 9.3.1 metadata in the ESRI-ISO format must be upgraded to the ArcGIS metadata format to successfully export the item's metadata content with this translator.
The translator provided in previous releases, ESRI_ISO2ISO19139.xml, continues to be provided with the current release of ArcGIS for Desktop. You may continue to use it to export ArcGIS or ESRI-ISO metadata to the ISO 19139 XML format. However, there are several known issues with this translator that can't be resolved. Existing geoprocessing models or Python scripts that export metadata to the ISO 19139 XML format should be updated to use the new translator.