Metadata

tekijä: Tiia Marjaana Puputti Viimeisin muutos tiistai 29. kesäkuuta 2021, 15.31

Metadata come in many forms. Different situations may call for different metadata. If a piece of information has already been mentioned in the research plan, it need not be repeated in the data management plan. 

Document and describe at least the following metadata, as applicable, in the data management plan:

General data

  • A name that describes the content of the whole dataset
  • Researchers’ names 
  • Potential other employees who participate in the research process, including their roles (such as transcriber)
  • The time when the data were collected (dd Month yyyy or the time span)
  • The place where the data were collected, for example, “the samples were taken in x”, if relevant
  • Keywords, such as ‘social workers’, ‘parliamentary elections’, ‘online services’
  • How do you document your data collection and processing, for example, on a formal research diary or Excel sheet?

Files and folders

Based on the following points, write in your answer how and where you store your data. In your answer, you need not list folder and file names, and you need not describe the content of folders. 

  • Name files and folders systematically in a similar way, describing their content
    • A short descriptive text of the folder content (e.g. a .txt file, which is saved in the folder)
    • If needed, a descriptive text on how the files and folders have been named (e.g. a .txt file, which is saved in the folder)
  • Create a systematic folder structure and write down where the data are
    • Folder path, for example, U: Documents > Studies > Master’s thesis > Data...
    • If the material or part of it is not on computer, write down where it is
    • If you have very extensive research data, you may need a directory to help you find specific pieces of information 
  • The time when the folders and files were created (dd Month yyyy or the time span)
  • The time when different versions were created (dd Month yyyy or the time span)
    • When you make significant changes or different versions, describe the changes in the file name, in a separate text document or in the research diary

Collection and interpretation of data

  • How were the data collected? Specify the methods you used
    • You can attach or link the forms etc. (no need to do it in your answer)
  • How are the data used in your research?
  • The software or equipment used in data collection or needed to see the data
    • For example, a proper recorder for interviews (not a mobile phone, which often automatically saves content to a cloud service)
    • Calibration of instruments
  • Variables and their definitions
  • Explanations of codes, symbols and abbreviations
  • If the materials have missing/insufficient parts, how do you mark them?

 

Information on sharing and access

  • Are the data subject to licences, such as CC licences?
    • Licences can be used to define who is entitled to use the data and what one is allowed to do with the data. CC licences enable open access with varying terms.
  • What kinds of restrictions are related to the use and sharing of the data?
  • Have the data already been published somewhere? How are they accessible?

If you need more information on metadata, see the Data Management Guidelines.