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Collection or Study Level Metadata

What...Collection or study level metadata

Collection or study level metadata provides the background, context and relationships between the individual files you may have.


This level of descriptive metadata is important as it helps understanding of the overall context of the collection or study.


There are various ways that this information can be provided but it can be included in a text file. Sometimes we may ask for this information to be submitted via a form which means it can be more easily used for searching the collection and making it accessible.

Corporate and Personal Records

  • Describe the collection using metadata elements such as:
    • title
    • description - a description of the content of the collection. The greater the detail the better
    • creator(s) - i.e. the creating body or individual
    • extent - the amount of content within the collection
    • relevant dates
    • keyword(s) - that quickly describe any subject areas, classifications, locations or individuals of interest
    • copyright - who owns the collection?
    • access conditions - is there any personal data within the collections? Are there conditions over access to the materials within the collection? If so, what are they?
  • If you can provide the provenance history of the collection – where did it come from and who has had responsibility for it?

Research Study

  • Provide an overview of the study:
    • title
    • description
    • author(s)
    • commissioning and funding bodies
    • the overall aims and objectives for the study
    • relevant dates
    • relevant locations
    • key findings
  • Describe the data collection methods used:
    • data collection protocols
    • sampling design
    • data sources used and the provenance of that data
    • technology used (instruments, hardware and software)
  • Describe the data validation, cleaning and refinement methods used.
  • Describe any prediction modelling developed.
  • Describe any modifications made to your data over time and the processes used in order to perform these modifications.
  • If specialist software has been developed in order to achieve any of the above then you should endeavour to offer the source code under an open license with descriptions on how to compile and run the code, and what dependencies (hardware or software) exist.
  • Provide details of any sensitive or confidential data and any conditions around access.