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Metadata Standards

Published Date: 15 March 2023

What are Metadata Standards?

Metadata standards refer to the set of requirements and guidelines that establish the meaning of data semantics. These standards are essential to ensure the proper usage and universal understanding of data across different contexts.
To achieve this goal, metadata introduces various characteristics and attributes commonly used to define and describe data. By providing a common framework for organizing and interpreting data, metadata standards aim to facilitate information accuracy, consistency, and interoperability.

How Do Metadata Standards Work?

  • Different user communities develop schemas that are controlled through community consensus.
  • The schemas comprise semantic definitions of various attributes of data and how to represent them digitally.
  • These semantic definitions include both Metadata Structure Standards and Metadata Content standards.
  • These metadata schemas are often produced as a response to the needs of the community.
  • Schemas can eventually get widely accepted and become a community standard if they receive due support from recognized centres like the Library of Congress.

The Necessity of Metadata Standards

  • To establish a universally recognized understanding and meaning of data.
  • For precise management, retrieval, and storage of data.
  • To develop a way to interpret and read different kinds of data accurately.
  • To prevent any misuse or misrepresentation of data sets.

Types of Metadata

  • Descriptive Metadata: These are qualitative attributes that provide additional information on data sets to make their identification and retrieval easier.
  • Structural Metadata: These are the characteristics or attributes of data that are used to justify the internal management and categorization of various data sets.
  • Administrative Metadata: These are metadata involving technical attributes like version number and archiving date to help in file management, preservation of resources, and rights management.

Examples of Metadata Standards

The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set:

  • It was established in 1995 and is one of the most popular metadata standards.
  • It is developed as a set of elements with a view to describe web pages and their content.

e-GMS (e-Government Metadata Standard)

  • Developed by the United Kingdom government, it is used to define metadata standards specifically for governmental information resources.
  • It is compulsory in any government-related work and public sector organizations.

ISO 19115: 2003(E) -  Geographic Information: Metadata

  • Developed by the Geospatial Community, it is meant to address issues pertaining to the curation and description of spatial data.
  • It consists of 400 elements combined in 14 different metadata packages.

Related Terms


MP4 or MPEG-4 Part 14 is one of the (oldest released in 2001) and most commonly used container formats for delivering video files.


The MKV video file is a royalty-free Matroska multimedia container format launched in December 2002. It can carry a multitude of video, audio, or subtitle files in a single file which facilitates easy storage and playability.

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