Create Discovery Metadata to improve research visibility
information that describes the content of your research can enhance its
visibility within the academic community, making it easier for others
to learn about, cite, and use. This page explains how discovery metadata
may be used in your research.
What is discovery metadata?At a basic level, metadata is data about data - information
associated with a resource that describes one or more attributes.
Discovery metadata refers to the subset of information that is necessary
to help researchers to locate data of relevance using a search engine
or online catalogue.
What type of resource should it be applied to?Metadata can be associated with any type of data. However, in the
context of research datasets, three types of resource are relevant.
What metadata should be created?When documenting data, it is useful to consider the question, “What information would I need to be able to find, understand, and use this data in 5 years?”. Relevant information includes the following:
- Title: The title of the work
- Grant Number: The grant no. for the project
- Description: A paragraph that describes the content. This may be the same as the abstract
- Creator: One or more people responsible for the data’s creation
- Contributors: Other people who contributed to the data’s development
- Completion date: The date of finalisation/last update
- Rights: Ownership and other rights associated with the data
- Access Restrictions: Restrictions or other controls that must be imposed upon the data, e.g. academic use only.
- Temporal coverage: The start and end date of the data collection or other activity
- Spatial coverage: The geographic region in which data
collection or other activities was performed. This may be referenced as
a geographic region or using an spatial reference system.
Practical Support and guidance
- The DCC's Disciplinary Metadata website provides useful guidance on finding standards appropriate to your subject domain
- A Metadata template may be used as a basis for recording discovery metadata about each data file
- Guidance on determining documentation requirements for your research project is available.
- A tutorial on embedding metadata into MS Office documents has been published by the University of Leicester
- The RDM Support Service can provide advice and guidance to LSHTM staff and students on creating and maintaining discovery and other metadata