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What is metadata?

Metadata can be defined as

  • data describing one or more ressources
  • or as
  • data associated with an object and describing it
Basically metadata is data describing documents, objects or services and contains information about their content, structure or form. Metadata is a description of data or "data about data". Bibliographic data sets and catalog entries in library catalogs can be seen as a kind of metadata.

This repository is using metadata in the Dublin Core Metedata Element Set (short Dublin Core (DC)) which has fifteen basic elements. Dublin Core is the result of international efforts to reach a collective consensus in describing electronic objects (in the broadest sense). The Library of Congress (LoC), the Online Cataloging Library Center (OCLC) and several national libraries are dealing with Dublin Core in many projects and are close to introduce the system respectively.