Collect & annotate data

When choosing a tool for collecting data, check whether your needs to annotate the data are met. Does the tool provide a logical way to describe your data? Reusing data is difficult if you don’t know what the data is about and how it was obtained. Be sure to provide appropriate data about your data (metadata).


Descriptive metadata is indispensable for the preservation, retrieval and re-use of datasets. It provides answers to questions concerning the person creating the data, the subject of the data, the type of file(s), geographic information and other aspects. Substantive metadata is important primarily for the user of the data. For example, consider a codebook that tells how the data should be read or interpreted. In many cases, such information is added in the form of readme files or similar descriptions. If data is worked on continually, it is useful to introduce some kind of version management to be able to properly track the changes. RDM Support can give you advice on how to set-up your metadata in the best possible way.

On the RDM portal information on research data management is provided for every stage of your research project.