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What is metadata?

The best known definition is the easily remembered “Data about Data.”

Other definitions, however, are much more descriptive.

In the 11th ed. of Introduction to Cataloging and Classification, Joudrey, Taylor, and Miller state that metadata is: “Structured information that describes the attributes of resources for the purposes of identification, discovery, selection, use, access, and management.”

In short, metadata is information about a resource. This broad definition includes elements such as titles; edition statements; the names of creators, contributors, and others; subjects; dimensions; location information; contents; and so on.

Metadata allows users to find, identify, select, and obtain the resources in our collections.


Metadata Quiz -- List of questions and answers on Metadata from Library and Information Science Questions Answers Quizzes. Please visit this collection and locate questions given below under the heading "Unit V - Information and Knowledge Organization and Management" where you will also find their URLs having answers and further explanations.
  • Metadata can be defined as [Fill in the Blanks. Metadata can be defined as ______ about ______. In libraries, the creation of metadata is often referred to as ______. It is a subset of ______ organization.]
  • Metadata is structured information that describes resources [True or False]



1. Janis L. Young and  Daniel N. Joudrey, Library of Congress, "Library of Congress Subject Headings: Online Training," (accessed March 17, 2020).


Article Title
  • Metadata

Website Name
  • Librarianship Studies & Information Technology


Last Updated
  • 2020-03-17

Original Published Date
  • 2020-03-17

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