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Research Data Management (RDM): Metadata standards

This guide explains the what, why and how of Research Data Management at Sheridan College.

What is metadata?

Metadata is information that describes data and:

  • Enables others (and the original researcher(s)) to understand all details of the project 
  • ensures data is searchable, findable, accessible and retrievable 
  • Author 
  • Description 
  • Date 
  • Contact information 
  • Units of measurement 
  • Subject 
  • Keywords 
  • Affiliation 

Metadata standards

There are many different metadata standards available for different disciplines, including: 

  • DDI (Data Documentation Initiative) - common standard for social, behavioral and economic sciences, including survey data 
  • Dublin Core - domain agnostic, basic and widely used metadata standard 
  • ISO 19115 and FGDC-CSDGM (Federal Geographic Data Committee's Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata) - for describing geospatial information 

To find more subject specific metadata standards visit:

Metadata tools