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Course & Subject Guides

Metadata & Discovery @ Pitt

This guide will assist researchers in understanding the basics of metadata and selecting appropriate metadata standards.


If you are starting a new project, want to improve the quality of existing metadata, or want to learn more about what metadata can do for you, specialists in the Metadata and Discovery Unit are available for consultations to help you get started. Training on standards and best practices, using controlled vocabularies, and data cleaning tools are also available through scheduled consultations. Find out more about our metadata services.

Recent projects the MAD unit have assisted with include:

  • Applying subject headings to digital objects in Historic Pittsburgh
  • Creating documentation and training metadata creators on best practices
  • Delivering workshops on metadata standards, controlled vocabularies, and data cleaning using OpenRefine.
  • Preparing digital collections metadata for aggregated harvesting in Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)
  • Producing and refining metadata for digital and physical collections
  • Researching and applying appropriate metadata standards, including element sets, controlled vocabularies, and authority files