Metadata

Metadata

Metadata is often called data about data or information about information. Metadata is defined as “structured information that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage an information resource. ” (Understanding Metadata, National Information Standards Organization United States, 2004). 

 

Types of Metadata

Metadata Type Example Properties Primary
 

Descriptive metadata

Common fields which help users to discover online sources through searching and browsing

 

Title

Author

Subject

Genre

Publication date

 

Discovery

Display

Interoperability

 

Technical metadata

Fields which describe the information required to access the data

 

File type

File size

Creation date/time

Compression scheme

 

Interoperability

Digital object management

Preservation

 

Administrative Metadata – Preservation

Fields that facilitate the management of resources

 

Checksum

Preservation event

 

Interoperability

Digital object management

Preservation

 

Administrative Metadata – Rights

Fields which deal with intellectual property rights

 

Copyright status

License terms

Rights holder

 

Interoperability

Digital object management

 

Structural metadata

Fields which describe how different components of a set of associated data relate to one another

 

Sequence

Place in hierarchy

 

Navigation

 

Markup languages

Languages which integrate metadata and flags for other structural or semantic features within content

 

Paragraph

Heading List

Name

Date

 

Navigation

Interoperability

 

Metadata Format

Metadata standards may vary from discipline to discipline. Dublin Core is one of the most commonly-used generic metadata standards.

·         Title ·         Identifier ·         Publisher
·         Subject ·         Type ·         Relation
·         Format ·         Description ·         Creator
·         Date ·         Language ·         Contributor
·         Source ·         Rights ·         Coverage

  

Metadata Standard

 

 

 

Metadata Concept Map by Amanda Tarbet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

* Note: Geospatial Interoperability Framework discontinued.

General: Dublin Core | MODS
Social Science: DDI
Humanities: TEI | VRA
Sciences: Darwin Core | ITIS | EML | DIF | SEED | FGDC | ISO 19115 | GIF

README File

A README file is a plain text file that includes descriptive information used commonly for software, games, and code.  When working with data, it can be useful to create and include a README file with your data. Here are some best practices in creating comprehensive README files.

  • Create a separate README file for each individual data file or a single README file for the dataset as a whole
  • Write your README document as a plain text file
  • Name your README file as “readme.xxx”

Here are some recommended contents for the README files of your research data. The table is adapted from Guide to writing “readme” style metadata, Cornell University Research Data Management Service Group and README guidance from Dryad.

 

General information
  • Title of the dataset
  • Names and Contact Information (i.e. PI, contributors, contact persons)
  • Date/Date range of data collection
  • Geographic location of data collection
  • Keywords
  • Language
  • Funding information
Data and file overview
  • Description of the file structure and relationship between data files
  • Short description of each data file and the relationship to the contents (i.e. tables, figures) of the related publications
  • Date that the file was created/updated (if any)
  • File format
  • Information specific to the particular data file
Sharing and access information
  • Licenses/Restriction information
  • Related publications/datasets (URLs)
  • Recommended citation
Methodological information
  • Methods for data collection/generation
  • Data processing steps
  • Any instrument-specific information needed to understand or interpret the data
  • Quality-assurance procedures (if applicable)

 

Source:

https://groups.niso.org/apps/group_public/download.php/17446/Understanding%20Metadata.pdf

http://dublincore.org/documents/dces/

https://data.research.cornell.edu/content/readme

 

 

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