For research data to be read and interpreted correctly, it requires sufficient description and documentation. Consider the information needed to make your data ‘independently understandable’, now and in the future. For example:
Remember that it is best to document your data throughout the research process, rather than at a later stage.
Metadata is "structured information associated with an object for purposes of discovery, description, use, management, and preservation. Metadata are often called data about data or information about information." (NISO, 2004)
Metadata should follow defined standards in make it findable, accessible and reusable. These standards vary according to the research discipline. For help identifying an appropriate metadata standard for your project, contact UVic Libraries. You can also search for metadata standards in your discipline through the DCC open directory: