What is Metadata?
Metadata can be described as ‘data about data’. It is information that has been documented to help other researchers discover and cite someone's data. Metadata makes data easily searchable, easily located from a citation and easily understood by people who might want to use that data. It is the descriptive information that gives context to data.
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) defined metadata as follows “Metadata is structured information that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use or manage an information resource.”
Three main types of Metadata
This type of metadata identifies resources by their descriptions.It helps connect users to resources, and provides important context about a resource once it is discovered. Descriptive metadata may include elements such as title, author, subject, publisher, idetifier, date of publication etc.
Metadata description therefore tries to answer the following questions during the discovery process: who created the data, what the data file contains, when the data were generated, where the data were generated,why the data were generated.
When metadata is created, the researcher should bear these tips in mind
This types of data fascilitates the nanagement of resources. It can include elements such as rights and use of data.
This metadata type indicates how digital assets are organised. It includes the physical structure of data and it is generally used in machine processing