Metadata are ‘data about data’ and it is crucial for ensuring future data usability. Such data documentation should include names of the study, data set and relevant files; where, when and how the data were collected; description of processing and manipulations that were carried out; information about the variables collected (e.g. units, format, precision, definitions of codes used, any problems/limits); information about staff and stakeholders involved in the study (e.g. who funded the study, who should be contacted if there are any questions about the data); how the data should be cited etc. 

Particularly relevant keywords:

  • metadata
  • data stewardship
  • data archiving
  • data sharing
  • data reusability