Metadata are structured information about an information resource that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage that resource. Metadata are most commonly used in libraries as a formal scheme of resource description, providing information about an object, whether it is digital or non-digital.

Further Resources

Ball A, Chen S, Greenberg J, Perez C, Jeffery K, & Koskela R. (2014). Building a Disciplinary Metadata Standards Directory. International Journal of Digital Curation, 9(1).

Chao T. (2015). Mapping Methods Metadata for Research Data. International Journal of Digital Curation, 10(1).

Day M. Metadata. In: Ross S, Day M, editors. Digital Curation Manual. HATII; 2005.

Greenberg J. (2010). Metadata for Scientific Data: Historical Considerations, Current Practices, and Prospects. Journal of Library Metadata, 10(2/3):75-78.

Greenberg J, White H, Carrier C, Scherle R. (2009). A Metadata Best Practice for a Scientific Data Repository. Journal of Library Metadata, 9:194-212.

Khayat M, & Kempler SJ. (2015). Life Cycle Management Considerations of Remotely Sensed Geospatial Data and Documentation for Long Term Preservation. Journal of Map & Geography Libraries: Advances in Geospatial Information, Collections & Archives2, 11(3), 271–288.

Kolker E, Özdemir V, Martens L, Hancock W, Anderson G, Anderson N, … Yandl G. (2014). Toward more transparent and reproducible omics studies through a common metadata checklist and data publications. Omics : A Journal of Integrative Biology, 18(1), 10–4. Available from:

Kothari CR, Ro P. (2015). A Metadata based Knowledge Discovery Methodology for Seeding Translational Research, 299(2), 2115.

Losee RM. (2013). Informational Facts and the Metainformation Inherent in IFacts: The Soul of Data Sciences. Journal of Library Metadata, 13(1), 59–74.

Moulaison HL, Dykas F, & Gallant K. (2015). OpenDOAR Repositories and Metadata Practices. D-Lib Magazine, 21(3/4).

Musen MA, Bean CA, Cheung K-H, Dumontier M, Durante KA, Gevaert O, … Wiser JA. (2015). The center for expanded data annotation and retrieval. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA, ocv048.

Musgrave S. (2014). Improving Access to Recorded Language Data. D-Lib Magazine, 20(1/2).

Nakasone S, Sheffield C. (2013). Descriptive Metadata for Field Books: Methods and Practices of the Field Book Project. D-Lib Magazine, 19(11/12).

National Information Standards Organization. Understanding Metadata. Bethesda, MD: NISO Press; 2004.

Read K. (2015). Common Metadata Elements for Cataloging Biomedical Datasets. Figshare.

Vardigan M, Donakowski D, Heus P, Ionescu S, & Rotondo J. (2014). Creating Rich, Structured Metadata: Lessons Learned in the Metadata Portal Project. IASSIST Quarterly, 38(3), 15–20.

Vellino A. (2015). Harmonizing the Metadata Among Diverse Climate Change Datasets. International Journal of Digital Curation, 10(1).

Vines TH, Andrew R L, Bock DG, Franklin MT, Gilbert KJ, et al. (2013). Mandated data archiving greatly improves access to research data. FASEB Journal, 27(4):1304-1308.

White H. (2010). Considering Personal Organization: Metadata Practices of Scientists. Journal of Library Metadata, 10(2/3).

Zimmerman A. (2007). Not by metadata alone: The use of diverse forms of knowledge to locate data for reuse. International Journal on Digital Libraries, 7(1-2):5-16.


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