Data documentation aims to describe the collected data to make it easier to use, retrieve and manage. Data documentation takes various forms and describes the data on multiple levels. The description of the dataset and data object is also referred to as metadata, i.e. data about the data. One way to do add metadata is to attach a readme file to your data. ResearchData NL offers guidance for this.
There are more ways to document your data, for example:
Add an extra tab with explanation of the columns
|Set of interviews||
Add a readme file to explain the coherence between the files
|Collection of datasets used for a publication||
add a readme file that lists the period of research, collaborators, etc.
In addition to describing their own datasets and objects, researchers can cross-refer to the project proposal where other researchers can find information about the research, e.g. aims and goals, methodology and data collection, the persons responsible for the project etc. The type of research and the nature of the data also influence what kind of documentation is necessary.
Different types of data are governed by different standards (see also the image above), and these should be taken into account when documenting data. These requirements include, but are not limited to: