What are metadata?

Metadata can be defined as:

  • data that describe one or more resources; or
  • data linked to the specific object they describe.

In other words, metadata describe documents, objects, or services and contain information about their contents, structure, or form. More abstractly, metadata are data about data. Accordingly, bibliographic records and catalogue entries are a kind of metadata. Metadata in OPUS consist of a set of no more than 15 elements known as the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (or Dublin Core for short). The set is the result of international efforts to find a common standard for describing electronic documents.

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