Adding metadata to data tables

Metadata is hugely important in the lifecycle and maintenance of good data. Workspaces allow you to add, update, maintain and export metadata for data tables.

As soon as a data table has begun uploading, you can add metadata using the ‘Edit Metadata’ function, which can be accessed from the Data Table Overview sidebar.


Adding metadata manually

The following fields are available to specify or change metadata for the data table:

  • Title: the title of the table.
  • Source: the source of the data table. This is a text field which could be used to supply an URL or any other description of the source of the data.
  • Description: a description of the data table.

The following metadata can also be set for each column in the table:

  • Label: a label for the table column.
  • Description: a description of the column.

biomarker metadata.png

Adding metadata from a file

Instead of adding all of the metadata for your table manually, you can import the metadata from a Table Definition File (TDF) in your workspace. The file must be in XML format and should look similar to the biomarkers data table example TDF, illustrated below. You can also download the TDF template here and edit it for your data table.

tdf biomarkers.png

Firstly, you should upload your TDF file using the normal upload process. Once your file is uploaded into your workspace, navigate to the Edit Metadata page of the table you're interested in and select the 'Import from file' button. Note, you need to confirm that you want to overwrite any existing metadata if it already exists.

Either search or navigate to your TDF XML file and select 'Confirm'. Your metadata will be added to the form where you can check and edit it.

Note that the metadata for the table columns is matched based on the header of the column rather than the order that the metadata file is in.

Copying metadata from another table

From the Edit Metadata page, you can also import metadata from other tables in your workspace.

Select the 'Copy from another dataset'. Again, if there is already metadata set then you'll need to confirm that you want to overwrite this. Select the table which you want to copy metadata from and click 'Confirm' and your metadata will show in the form.

Exporting metadata

From the Edit Metadata page, you can easily create an XML copy of your metadata by using the 'Export to file' button. Select the destination for your file and click 'Confirm'.

Updated on October 16, 2023

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