University of Reading Research Data Archive

Metadata Policy


A Metadata Record consists in a structured set of metadata elements that provide information about a Dataset or Collection, to enable identification, discovery, interpretation, use and administration of the Dataset or Collection. Metadata Records can refer to Datasets held in the Archive or elsewhere.

A Metadata Record will exist for each Dataset and Collection. Each Metadata Record will be displayed on its own landing page at a unique URL. Each landing page for a digital Dataset held in the Archive or a non-digital Dataset stored and managed in the University will be assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which will resolve to the Metadata Record URL. DOIs are not assigned to Metadata Records for Collections or for Datasets that are not under the authority of the University.

A mandatory minimum set of metadata elements must be recorded for each Metadata Record. Other, optional metadata may be provided at the discretion of the Depositor or an Administrator.


The primary language of the Metadata Record is English, and the following metadata fields must be completed in English:

A title in an alternative language may be entered in the Alternative title field, and an alternative-language description of the Dataset can be entered alongside the English-language version in the Description field.

Any other free text fields that will be displayed on the public Metadata Record must also have English language entries, although alternative-language entries may be included where relevant.

Mandatory metadata

The mandatory minimum metadata that must be recorded for each Dataset or Collection Metadata Record are:

The Depositor must provide the Title, Creator information and Publication Year, and will be required to provide the Data Publisher and a valid URL/DOI for Datasets held in external services. For Datasets held in the Archive, the Data Publisher and DOI will be assigned in the process of publishing the Metadata Record.

Mandatory metadata fields are indicated with a red star symbol on the metadata entry screens.

When an Administrator assigns a DOI to a Dataset Metadata Record the Metadata Record will be deposited in the DataCite Metadata Store (the database of the DOI-issuing authority) under the terms of a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) Public Domain Dedication.

Once a DOI has been assigned to and recorded on a Dataset Metadata Record the mandatory minimum metadata may not be modified without the prior consent of DataCite.

In addition to the mandatory minimum metadata elements, other metadata elements must be entered in order for the Metadata Record to be accepted as a valid record. The additional mandatory elements that must be provided for a Dataset are:

For each file or zip bundle uploaded in a Dataset the following metadata are mandatory:

For a Collection the only mandatory metadata elements are Title and Description.


All Metadata Records registered with the Archive are openly available online and can be accessed by anyone without restriction and free of charge.


The metadata published in the Metadata Records may be re-used in any medium without prior permission for not-for-profit purposes and re-sold commercially.

Any person who re-uses metadata is asked to identify the University of Reading Research Data Archive as the source of the metadata and/or to provide a reference to the original Metadata Record by means of its DOI or URL.

Metadata Records will be retained indefinitely. If a Dataset or Collection is withdrawn from the Archive, the associated Metadata Record will not be deleted, but will be annotated to record the change in status of the Dataset or Collection and the reason for this change.