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  • Guidance for metadata authors

    Discovery level metadata provides essential information that enables the potential user of data to find out if a particular resource exists, its location, ownership and whether it meets their requirements.

    Introduction

    Searches on metadata portals and search engines to which the metadata is exposed can result in a large number of results; the metadata should therefore be sufficiently clear and comprehensible to enable the reader to understand the nature of the entry and to assess whether it is suitable for reuse.  Poor quality metadata can mean that a resource is effectively hidden from users and remains unused.

    When writing good quality metadata, always keep in mind the ABCD of good discovery metadata.  Metadata should be:

    Accurate
    correctly and precisely describe the resource in question
    Beneficial
    contains information that is useful to the end user without lots of extraneous, irrelevant information
    Clear
    easily understandable by a non-technical user and unambiguous
    Distinctive
    contains information that allows it to be distinguished from other, potentially similar, resources

    Metadata guidance by record type

    The metadata elements you may need to complete, depend on the type of record you are creating: