What is metadata?

  • Metadata is data about data; it is information which describes other data.
  • Metadata is the formalised structured description of content, quality, condition or other characteristics of data
  • Assists users in finding relevant information and discovering resources through bringing similar information together
  • Identifies where information is located
  • Can be stored and managed in a database, often called a metadata registry or repository
  • Can be stored internally, in the same file as the data (also known as embedded metadata)
  • Can be stored externally, in a separate file from the described data
  • Structured in a formalised way through consensus and the application of International standards