Skip to main content

Research Data Management at UF: Metadata

This is a guide on resources available at the University of Florida and beyond on research data management. It includes information about tools for data management planning, data and file sharing, metadata and data standards, and data storage.

Add value to your research data and collections

Librarians use discipline specific metadata and standards to find relevant information on daily basis. Consult your liaison librarian/ subject specialist on how to increase the visibility of your research data, add value to it, and comply with discipline-specific standards.

Standards

Use standardized taxonomies, controlled vocabularies, and ontologies including domain, national, and international standards in the capture, management and archiving of data.

 

Disciplinary Metadata list developed by the UK's Digital Curation Center.

 

FAIRsharing is a register of metadata standards and their related databases and policies.  Originally BioSharing (with a focus on the life sciences), it not serves all disciplines.  

 

Familiar clinical ontologies: ICD-9, ICD-10 and SNOMED-CT.

NIH Common Data Elements (CDE)

The NIH's Common Data Element (CDE) Resource Portal provides access to NIH-supported CDE initiatives and tools. 

Common Data Elements (CDEs) are data elements common to multiple data sets across different studies. Use of CDEs can help improve data quality and the opportunity for comparison and combination of data from multiple studies.

Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC)

CDISC is a global nonprofit whose goal is to develop standards for clinical research data collection.  Standards areas include protocol representation, clinical data acquisition,  and pharmcogenomics/genetics testing and description.  You must create a free account to access the standards.

Training on Data Management at UF

Trainings are free and open to UF all faculty, students and staff. Learn practical strategies for best managing your research data. This workshop includes questions to consider when creating a data management plan, with a focus on the DMPTool and tools for sharing your data at the University of Florida. Topics include metadata and annotation, file formats and organization, storage, backups and security, and data sharing. Contact me or your liaison librarian/subject specialist for small group or departmental presentations.

What is metadata?

Information about data: the information required to understand data, context, quality, structure, and accessibility (Michener et al., 1997)

 

"Metadata is structured information that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage an information resource." (NISO, 2004

 

Descriptive information that helps you and others discover and understand your data

 

Data about data” that acts as a surrogate for your data when you or others are trying to:

  • Find the data later
  • Know what the data is later
  • Share the data later

Benefits of Proper Metadata

  • Re-use and data sharing are facilitated
  • Data is more easiliy discovered
  • May expand the scale of study
  • Can address unanticipated questions about the data
  • Disperse data can be integrated

Metadata across the disciplines

Basic information to keep:

Descriptive

  • What is it about?
  • Title, time, author, keywords
  • Relations to other data objects

Administrative

  • Ownership and use permissions

Provenance

  • Where does it come from?
  • History of changes to the data, versions

More specific information varies by discipline

Annotation and metadata examples

Here are examples of metadata requirements for submitting array data to the NCBI's Gene Expression Omnibus repository.

The presentation below shows some common pitfalls in spreadsheet organization.

Hazards of Not Planning to Share Data

NYU Health Sciences Libraries animation showing the importance of proper data annotation or documentation

How NOT to Label Your Files

xkcd comic - Documents

University of Florida Home Page

This page uses Google Analytics - (Google Privacy Policy)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.