Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Describing Your Files

Metadata is literally data about data – it’s the label on the tin can which means you get beans on your toast and not pineapple chunks!

It’s important because the more metadata you can create and provide the better chance people in the future have of understanding the information.

Technical Metadata

Did you use specialist or technical software to create your files? If so it really helps if you document details of the software so there’s a better chance of them being accessible in the future. If you used instruments to record data on then making a note of models and settings improves the chances of your data being accessible and reproducible in the future.

File-level descriptive metadata

You can often embed extra descriptions into documents such as PDF file or word documents. You can also create short text documents (such as ReadMe files) which can add context to the file or files you have created..

Collection metadata

Any additional information which tells the future user about the collection of files or research project you have created. There is plenty that only you as the creator will know.

Administrative metadata

Permissions, copyright and licenses are all issues which affect how we process data and make it accessible – find out more hereLink opens in a new window.