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Metadata Basics: Describing Research Data

Metadata is information that describes a resource (i.e. data about data). When used effectively, metadata helps with usability, discovery, and storage of research. After completing this workshop, participants will be able to articulate what metadata is and how it is used, select a metadata standard that best suits their project and discipline, and select an appropriate tool for creating and maintaining metadata. Case studies and examples will be used to demonstrate metadata application and impact.

This workshop will provide an introduction to metadata.

This is a UBC Library Research Commons workshop. For more information about our upcoming workshops and to view our open workshop content find us at

Goals of this Workshop

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Articulate what metadata is and why it is important.
  2. Describe common metadata standards and identify standards that are relevant for their discipline.
  3. Articulate best practices for metadata in research, including how to use readme files and improve long term discoverability.
  4. Identify common tools for working with metadata.


0:00 Welcome and using Zoom
0:05 Introduction
0:30 Metadata in practice and standards
0:45 Metadata in RDM and tools
1:00 Discussion and questions