3.1 How will you document your data in order to make it findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable for you and others? What kind of metadata standards, README files or other documentation will you use to help others to understand and use your data?
Data documentation enables data sets and files to be discovered, used and properly cited by other users (human or computer).
Metadata is essential information regarding the data, for example, where, when, why and how the data were collected, processed or anonymized, and information about the availability and original purpose of use of the research data.
Metadata also describes the naming conventions of files, version control and folder structures. Explain in the description also the terms, variables, codes, abbreviations and units.
Tips for best practices
- Descibe all types of documentation (README files, questionnaires etc.) you will provide to help secondary users find, understand and reuse your data
- Use research instruments which create standardized metadata formats automatically so that your data can be moved from one manufacturer tool to another.
- Repositories often require the use of a specific metadata standard. Check whether a discipline/community- or repository-based metadata schema or standard (i.e., preferred sets of metadata elements) exists that can be adopted.