Q. Is there a default or standard metadata schema I can use to describe and organize my research data?


There is not a default metadata standard for research data.

  • Good planning and consistency with your file names, keywords, names, and dates will result in well-described and well-organized data. This alone may create adequate metadata for your project.

There are general and discipline-specific metadata schemas available.

  • Your schema will be informed by the research question you are investigating, your disciplinary focus, or even where you will publish.
  • The DataCite Metadata Schema is a general schema that may be helpful for you.
  • The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) is an international standard for describing data produced by surveys and other observational methods in social, behavioral, economic, and health sciences.
  • The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) provides a list of disciplinary metadata schema that may be appropriate for your project.

To learn more about research data management:

For help with your project: