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Associate Data with Metadata

The Data Store supports a variety of solutions that allow you to associate your raw data with metadata. Metadata is of critical importance to a quality research, (See this article on FAIR Principles) yet it is often given less consideration until the time of publication and sharing. Here are a few metadata features that you can adopt and be aware of at the outset, see more of CyVerse’s capabilities on the Data Commons page.

Some things to remember about the platform

  • You can add metadata to a single file/folder, or in bulk to large collections of data. You can use your own metadata schema, or apply one of our metadata templates
  • The Discovery Environment supports several metadata templates that can be used for submission of metadata. Additional templates you may wish to use can be found at resources like FairSharing.org
  • Metadata can be managed through a graphical interface in the Discovery Environment or using iCommands at the command line. We will only cover the Discovery Environment in this guide. See instructions for iCommands metadata on the CyVerse wiki.

Adding Metadata to a Single File/folder in the Discovery Environment

Note

You must have write or own permission to edit an object’s metadata.

  1. Log into the Discovery Environment.

  2. Click on the `Data` icon to open a Data window. Select (checkbox) a single file/folder to add metadata to.

  3. Click on the `Metadata` menu and select Edit / View Metadata. Click the Add button to add a single metadata entry in Attribute, Value, Unit (AVU) format. Click Save to save that entry.

    edit_view_metadata

    Tip

    A single piece of metadata, or an AVU, is made up of attributes, values, and units. An attribute is a changeable property or characteristic of the file or folder you have selected that can be set to a value. For example, length is an attribute of a file, while 7 is its value, and cms is the unit.

  4. Click ‘Save’ to save all entries and apply the metadata.

Adding Metadata to Multiple Files/folder in the Discovery Environment

Adding Metadata using a CyVerse Template

  1. Log into the Discovery Environment.

  2. Click on the `Data` icon to open a Data window. Click on the `Metadata` menu and select Download template. Select a template and click OK to download. (In this example, we will use the DOI Request - DataCite Metadata) template.

  3. Unzip the downloaded template; it will contain blank.csv and guide.csv. Open these files using the spreadsheet editor of your choice.

    Tip

    • blank.csv is the metadata template that you will complete for your data
    • gude.csv contains instructions for your template, and will usually include
      controlled vocabulary terms for metadata descriptors.
  4. Edit the template in one of two ways:

  • If all data will be in a single folder
    1. In the guide.csv spreadsheet, add a row for the first data file.
    2. In the first column of the first row, enter the file location in the Data Store.
    3. In the remaining columns of the first row, enter the values for each file/attribute combination.
    4. Repeat for each file.
    5. If desired, add additional columns to the end of the template. The metadata in the additional columns will be saved in the Data Store but will not be stored as part of the template.
    6. Save the file in CSV format. Make sure none of the names of the files or the parent folder includes spaces or special characters.
  • If data will be in multiple folders
    1. In the guide.csv spreadsheet, add a row for the first data file.
    2. In the first column of the first row, enter the full path to the file location in the Data Store. (e.g. /iplant/home/cyverse_username/data_folder)
    3. In the remaining columns in the first row, enter the values for each file/attribute combination.
    4. Repeat for each file.
    5. If desired, add additional columns to the end of the template. The metadata in the columns will be saved in the Data Store but will not be stored as part of the template.
    6. Save the file in CSV format. Make sure none of the names of the files or the parent folder includes spaces or special characters.
  1. In an open ‘Data’ window in the Discovery Environment, navigate to appropriate location for uploading the template:

    • If the first column of your metadata file contains only file names (that is, all data files are in the same folder), move the bulk metadata file to the same folder as the location of the data files.
    • If the first column of your metadata file contains the full path to each file (that is, the data files are in different folders), it does not matter where the metadata file is located on the Data Store.

    In the Data window, under the Upload menu, select ‘Simple Upload from Desktop’ to upload the modified guide.csv.

  2. To apply the metadata, in the Data window, select (checkbox) the name of the folder containing the data files to which you want to apply the metadata in bulk.

  3. Click the `Metadata` menu and select ‘Apply Bulk Metadata’, and the click ‘Select Metadata File’.

  4. Browse to the location of the bulk metadata file and select it.

  5. Select the corresponding template from the dropdown menu; click “Okay”

Your metadata should now be applied to your files. You should receive a notification in the Discovery Enviornment and you can confirm the metadata has been correctly applied by selecting ‘View / Edit Metadata’ from the `Metadata` menu of a Data window.


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