Metadata Standards provide specific data fields or elements to be used in describing data for a particular use. Some research fields have predefined metadata standards, such as those listed below. For more disciplinary metadata standards and further information, visit the UK's Digital Curation Centre's Disciplinary Metadata page (http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/metadata-standards).
It is helpful to think about what metadata will be needed and how it will be documented before beginning research and data acquisition. Well crafted metadata should enable potential users to find and “make full and accurate use of the data in a subsequent scientific analysis”. If data will be moved around or deposited in a repository, .txt Read Me files should accompany the data. File folder heirarchical naming, or other documentation not directly tied to the data may not be suitable documentation.
If you are permanently storing your data with Princeton’s DataSpace, metadata will be entered upon submittal. Information about entering metadata into DataSpace is available at http://dataspace.princeton.edu/jspui/help/index.html#submit More or less metadata may be needed depending on the data and research field.
 “Metadata: Data Management and Publishing: Subject Guides: MIT Libraries.” Web. 10 May 2011. http://libraries.mit.edu/guides/subjects/data-management/metadata.html
 Sufi, S., and B. Mathews. CCLRC Scientific Metadata Model: Version 2. CCLRC, 2004. Print.