Metadata is the descriptive information that will enable other researchers to discover your data and initially determine whether it will be of use. Required information will vary across scientific fields and repositories. The following list provides a minimal amount of information that will likely be sufficient in most cases. Note that some of this information may be provided in supplemental documentation.
- Dataset/Project Title
- Dataset Creator (primary contact person) and University Affiliation
- Funding Agencies/Period
- Access Restrictions?
- Publication Citations (at least the initial publication) (optional)
- Data Sources (user-generated, citations of compilation sources)
- Coverage (date range if applicable, geographic range if applicable. If sample, note the sample site)
- Unit of Analysis (likely located in dataset documentation)
- Date of compilation
- Date of Last Update
- File Formats (Stata, Excel, tab delimited text, TIFF images, WAV audio, etc.)
- Count of Files
- List of Files (or link to document that contains list)
- Supporting Documentation, list of items, file names
- Will the archive be updated?