How to describe research data

An important task for SND is to keep data understandable for secondary analysis. This requires good descriptions of the contents of data, ie, metadata. Metadata, which means data about data, is often the only form of communication about the research material that occurs between a primary researcher / data producer and a secondary researchers. Metadata makes it easier to understand the research material's properties and methods and provides an important source of information on the research material today and also in the future.

Metadata can be set using a metadata standard that structures and organizes the information. A standard specifies the fields and content required to describe the data, which makes it easier to exchange metadata between different parties and make the information searchable. Descriptions of the data sets at SND are organized according to the metadata specification DDI (Data Documentation Initiative). More information about DDI: http://www.ddialliance.org.

A number of standard elements in the DDI data description match the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI). DCMI is a standard which aims to make it easier to describe and to locate Internet resources. For more information on DCMI, see http://dublincore.org/