Key elements of metadata:
• Subject descriptors
• Creator(s) (Creator of the dataset; main researchers involved)
• File format
• Storage location of the data (including identifier information)
• Origin of the data (creation/acquisition of the data)
• Time references for the data (key dates associated with the data: start, end, release, etc.)
• Access conditions
E.g. Below are some expectations EPSRC have in relation to the creation of metadata
- Research organisations will ensure that appropriately structured metadatadescribing the research data they hold is published (normally within 12 months of the data being generated) and made freely accessible on the internet; in each case the metadata must be sufficient to allow others to understand what research data exists, why, when and how it was generated, and how to access it. Where the research data referred to in the metadata is a digital object it is expected that the metadata will include use of a robust digital object identifier.
- Where access to the data is restricted the published metadata should also give the reason and summarise the conditions which must be satisfied for access to be granted. For example ‘commercially confidential’ data, in which a business organisation has a legitimate interest, might be made available to others subject to a suitable legally enforceable non-disclosure agreement.
For more information on metadata documentation and standards, see UK Data Archive.
Below are some subject specific metadata standards, the metadata standards you decide to adopt will depend on funder requirements and which discipline your research is conducted through.
Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI)
ISO 19115:2003 – Geographic information metadata
Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM)
Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)
Visual Resources Association Core (VRA)
e-Government Metadata Standard (eGMS)
Managing and Exchanging Research Data:
Data Documentation Initiative (DDI)