Data Description and Annotation


Describing and annotating datasets provides an avenue for data to be better understood across borders and sectors. For example, describing datasets in detail provides an opportunity for researchers to discover, access, retrieve and understand data on a granular level. In terms of metadata, applying these principles to data will provide researchers with better information to interpret and reuse data. The Data Documentation Initiative, DCAT Application Profile and Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Data Descriptors are strong examples of ways research communities are attempting to meet the challenge of data description by recounting the characteristics, methods and technologies used in a way that will promote sharing and reuse.

Further Resources

Arzberger P, Schroeder P, Beaulieu A, Bowker G, Casey K, Laaksonen L, et al. (2004). Promoting Access to Public Research Data for Scientific, Economic, and Social Development. Data Science Journal, 3(November):135–52.

Disciplinary Metadata Standards(link is external). (2013). Digital Curation Centre.

Qina J, D’Ignazio J. (2010). The Central Role of Metadata in a Science Data Literacy Course(link is external). Journal of Library Metadata, 10(2-3):188–204.

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