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Organising and describing data

Describing data

You should be able to understand and reuse data at any time. Creating descriptive metadata will help you and others to find and use the data that you generate.

Metadata is structured information that describes, explains, locates, contextualises or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage information.

We can supply a list of key metadata fields and a spreadsheet template to help you record metadata. Email the research data team for advice.

Storing metadata

Metadata storage depends on the dataset. It might be stored in a structured file format such as XML, or may include text documents that describe elements of the project such as apparatus or methods.

When it is time to deposit your data, our data repository will ask you to supply descriptive metadata (project title, creator, date, geographical location etc) alongside your research data.