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Metadata for Data Management: A Tutorial: Best Practices

Library Data Services

Library Data Services caters to researchers interested in working with data, mapping, texts, visualization, and technology. Many of these services are available online. Davis Library Data Services, located on the second floor of Davis Library, offers:

  • A computing lab with specialized software for GIS and data visualization & analysis.
  • Walk-in assistance provided by knowledgeable student consultants during set hours
  • Consultations with specialists for more in-depth inquiries (by appointment).
  • Spaces for collaboration and presentation, complete with white boards and external displays.
  • Technology short courses and programs that promote digital scholarship.

Metadata Best Practices

Good data documentation is essential in order to find, use, share, and manage data, especially over time. This includes information such as:

  • The context of data (why and how data was collected)
  • The structure of data (including how multiple files relate to each other)
  • Quality assurance that data is complete and uncorrupted
  • Information on data confidentiality, access and use conditions (where applicable)
  • Identification and tracking of different versions of datasets

Resources for More Information

Still have questions?

If you would like assistance creating your data management plan or did not find the information you needed here, please contact us at We provide guidance and resource referrals to help UNC faculty, staff and students with data management and developing their data management plans.

UNC federally funded researchers, for in-depth review and assistance creating your data management plans in compliance with federal requirements, contact UNC's Research Data Management Core for assistance.