A group of us have been getting together once per week for the past month or two to revisit some of our earlier decisions about social science research data and how we intend to store it in Fedora. (You can find the original content model by searching the blog for the tag 'eager' -- this work is supported by an NSF INTEROP EAGER grant.)
Our thinking about the type of Fedora objects that we would like to use has shifted from our first thoughts in 2009. The original objects aimed to group related content within the same object, but in different Datastreams. We are now thinking of using much simpler objects where the content forms one Datastream, and any related content is packed into its own separate objects, linked together using the RDF syntax available in RELS-TXT. If the file-level object has metadata which doesn't fit well into existing places, then we may create a second Datastream to collect it. For example, if we want to record the preservation actions performed on the file/object,we think it makes sense to capture that in a PREMIS-format Datastream stored alongside the actual file/object content.
I'll kick-off this continuing line of posts tomorrow with an example container for what we call a Deposit at ICPSR. This is the container that a researcher, government agency, or even an ICPSR staffer use to move content into the data curation systems of ICPSR.