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Definition Metadata is data that plays the role (is used for) of documentation for data/resource discovery, description/documentation, contextualisation.
Explanation Metadata provides contextual information on for data collections to retest, reuse and repurpose data.

Data/Resource discovery allows resources to be found by relevant criteria; Identifying resources; Bringing similar resources together; Distinguishing dissimilar resources; Giving location information.

Examples Examples include data about related datasets (including provenance metadata), software, publications, organisations, persons (such as organizer of the data…)

Typically descriptive metadata includes such things as source & time of creation. For data and report publication it may include administrative metadata such as authors & date of submission.

A PID is an example of metadata used to reference data.

An example is retention period metadata which defines the date when retention of the data object should be evaluated.

References RDA MD and PP WG discussions
Scope RDA Metadata WG
Status New

Definition Metadata is a type of data object that that contains attributes describing properties of an associated data or digital object.

“Metadata” represent the set of instructions or documentation that describe the content, context, quality, structure, and accessibility of a data set." Mitchner (2006)

Explanation MD can be used for Discovery, Access, Selection, Licensing, authorization, Quality, suitability and Provenance, reproducibility.

It may contain as key the persistent identifier of that associated object. The association between a data object and metadata is that the content of the metadata describes the data object. Metadata may serve different purposes, such as helping people to find data of relevance - discovery or to bring data together – federation.

Examples Data properties, both internal and external, are types of metadata as is transactional information about data.
References Michener, William K. "Meta-information concepts for ecological data management." Ecological informatics 1.1 (2006): 3-7.


Scope RDA Term Collection Core
Status In discussion

Definition Metadata can be Representation Information which is information that maps a Data Object into more meaningful concepts.
Explanation Representation Information about a piece of data is added to understand it.

For example, a format for data is added.

Examples Examples include Preservation Description Information(PDI) and Packaging Information?

Format info is descriptive Structural metadata or Representation Information

This info should be adequate for things like rendering a digital media object but without additional information it is not adequate for understanding.

References "Understanding a Digital Object-Basic Representation Information"

Ch. 7 Advanced Digital Preservation by David Giaretta

Scope RDA Metadata WG
Status New

Definition The PIT API can be used to create, edit and read metadata assigned to a PID. In this context. metadata is describing a PID itself and the content which the PID resolves to.
Scope PID Information Types WG
Status New