Metadata is structured information that describes, explains, locates or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use or manage an information resource. Metadata is often called data about data or information about information.
The term ‘documentation’ encompasses all the information necessary to interpret, understand and use a given dataset or set of documents. On this website, we use ‘documentation’ and ‘metadata’ (data about data – usually embedded in the data files/documents themselves) interchangeably.