What is metadata?
Metadata is often described as ‘data about data’. In the research context, metadata is data or information that describes a piece of data, or a group of data.
It can be created and used at all levels – from the object level (for example, individual documents, images or sequences) to the collection level, where the metadata provides an overview of the dataset or collection of datasets.
View our Understanding Metadata infographic.
Research metadata repositories are available at each South Australian university, to enable you to publish high-level descriptions of your research datasets and collections.
A collection record can be created with assistance from us, or your university eResearch officer, to allow discovery of your work.
These metadata repositories feed into Research Data Australia, the national research data commons. Publication to this repository, broadens the reach of your work and can lead to new collaborations and developments.
There are also a wide range of other repositories that you may be relevant to your research field.
It should be noted that collection level metadata descriptions do not necessitate that the data itself be made available. Rather they provide an overview of your data, with the ability to indicate the access rules and usage rights for your data. This may range from publically open, to mediated access, to no access at all. However, you are encouraged to make your data openly available, wherever possible, in line with ethical guidelines and your institutions sharing policies.