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Research Data Management

This guide will assist researchers in planning for the various stages of managing their research data, implementing best practices for managing research data, and in preparing data management plans required with funding proposals.

documentation and metadata

Documentation and Metadata


It is best practice to include a brief descriptive document (often a Readme.txt file) to help others understand your files and data. Below are some examples and tools to help you create such a document. 


Metadata is often defined as "data about data" or structured information that describes the content and makes it easier to find or use. A metadata record can be embedded in data or stored separately. Any data file in any format can have metadata fields. 

A well-known and widely used standard is Dublin Core. However, there are many metadata standards, and which one is right for your data will depend on the type, scale, and discipline of your project.

If your field doesn't have a metadata standard or if you require a simpler system, you can record the three most universal types of metadata found in standards: 

  • Descriptive metadata:  enables discovery, identification, and selection of resources. It can include elements such as title, author, and subjects.
  • Administrative metadata: facilities the management of resources. It can include elements such as technical, preservation, rights, and use.
  • Structural metadata: generally used in machine processing, describes relationships among various parts of a resource, such as chapters in a book.

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