CPP Document Services
Serving U-M Utilities & Plant Engineering since 2008
Metadata is data about data or, if you prefer, information about information. Consider a file folder with a report inside: the report is the information you have stored. The label on the file folder is the information about your report —metadata —that helps you find it later. In the computer world there are thousands of kinds of metadata. We focus on four of the most common, also called Document Properties:
title, author, subject and keywords.
In Microsoft Office 2007 products, they are under Office Button > Prepare > Properties. In Adobe Acrobat they can be found under File > Properties… > Description.
The search appliance can read many text file types, but metadata helps narrow the search results. Thus, the best way to ensure that the search appliance will find your documents is by entering the title, author, subject and keywords in the document properties from within the application before putting them on the shared drive. Document Services encourages UPE staff to complete the properties for every stored document, and quality-checks vendor's reports to ensure compliance.
- Title: the document title rather than its digital filename
- Author: the writer of the document and the writer’s company, department, shop, workgroup, etc.
- Subject: the project name, or what the document is about
- Keywords: words to help a search engine locate the document, including but not limited to U-M project number, document headers, chapter names, equipment names and numbers, process system names, etc.
Remember TASK -- title, author, subject, keywords -- because metadata matters.