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Research Data Management: Data Documentation & Metadata

Research Data Management (RDM) Library guide

Clear data description, annotation, contextualisation, and documentation work together to make data user-friendly and shareable.

Metadata Standards You Can Use

Having good metadata is key to accessing and reusing research data. Many disciplines have developed standards to aid this complex environment. 


Subject specific standards:

  • DCC Disciplinary Metadata -  links to metadata standards in Biology, Earth SciencesPhysical SciencesSocial & Science Humanities, General Research Data; Digital Curation Centre (DCC)
  • RDA Metadata Standards - open directory of metadata standards for scientific data; Research Data Alliance (RDA)

Describing Your Data

What is metadata?

Provides standardised structure for a data collection or dataset and usually includes details such as:

  • origin
  • purpose
  • time references
  • geographic location
  • creator/author
  • access conditions
  • terms of use

The video below provides a short (5 minute) introduction:


Contact Research Data Management Team