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We present our XML-based Distributed Metadata Server (Dimes) - which comprises a flexible metadata model, search software, and a Web-based interface - to support multilevel metadata access, and introduce two prototype systems. Our Scientific Data and Information Super Server (SDISS), which is based on Dimes and GDS, solves accurate data-search and outdated data-link problems by integrating metadata with the data systems. On the implementation front, we combine independent components and open-source technologies into a coherent system to dramatically extend system capabilities. Obviously, our approach can be applied to other scientific communities, such as bioinformatics and space science.