What Is Meta-Tagging And Its Applications In Scientific Writing?


Metadata tagging, also called meta-tagging, in the simplest terms is “data about data.” The word “meta” has been identified as a prefix in the field of information technology and is considered to provide an underlying description. Hence, metadata tags are small pieces of keywords extracted from the document that assist in conveying the content of the document. These tags do not exist in the document but are present as codes in the HTML version.

While searching for a particular piece of content using search engines, seekers put in their queries and get a title about the search with some keywords or short phrases. These texts may or may not appear in the actual document, but they assist in identifying the document for relevant information.

In the 1990s, metadata was mostly used in libraries to classify physical and digital copies of documents/books to make the location of the content easier. In the present scenario, metadata is used almost everywhere.

What Is Metadata Used For?

Metadata can be used in almost all areas, as mentioned earlier, such as computer files, images, spreadsheets, videos, audio files, and webpages to name a few.

One of the most important uses of metadata tags is in search engine optimization (SEO). Meta-tagging helps search engines understand the websites and categorize them accordingly, thus helping the webpages receive more traffic.

How Are Metadata Tags Created?

Metadata tags can either be created manually or automatically. Manual metadata creation is more accurate as keywords can be added as per the specific document.

What Is The Process Of Metadata Tag Creation?

The process involves the following steps:

  1. Object description must be provided whether the object is physical or digital.
  2. The kind of information that needs to be recorded and who the audience is should be specified. The tagging must be as per the requirement of the users. As an example, if the document is for scientific users, the tags can be as per the users from the scientific community. Another important point is that the tags should convey the ownership of a particular asset or data, who has the right to use it, and the scope of that usage.
  3. List the information that must be incorporated in the metadata tag. Provide only essential information in the tags that make them easily discoverable, along with providing maximum context about the data.
  4. Finalizing the data points as per the existing mapping schema, such as Dublin Core, or developing one’s metadata schema.
  5. Make use of existing data value standards or make your standards for the asset to improve data quality and consistency.

Advantages Of Using Meta-Tagging In Scientific Writing

Having known the basics about the concept and process of creating metadata tags, we can now look at their specific application in the field of scientific writing.

In the past few years, there has been exponential growth in scientific publications, such as books, documents, posters, manuscripts, audio and video presentations, and technical articles. In order to organize the number of scientific articles being published every year, it is very important to add a tag to these articles and make the accessibility of relevant articles easier.

The meta-tags that are recognized for scientific articles are keywords, author names, publication dates, and relevant key messages that are content based.

The advantages can be listed as follows:

  1. Improved discoverability: Meta-tagging helps in the efficient discovery of the relevant article. Researchers can quickly identify papers that fit their study interests by adding pertinent tags to their articles.
  2. Effective organization: Meta-tagging offers a method for organizing scientific articles effectively. Articles can be sorted using tags by topic, author, publication date, or any other pertinent data. For scholars who need to read through a lot of literature, this organization can be quite helpful.
  3. Improved collaboration: Meta-tagging helps researchers collaborate better. Researchers may rapidly share relevant findings with peers by adding tags to articles, fostering communication and collaboration.
  4. Data analysis: In scientific studies, meta-tagging can help in data analysis. In the scientific literature, trends and patterns can be found by tagging articles with suitable information.


A useful method for classifying and organizing scientific literature is meta-tagging. Researchers may effectively identify, organize, and exchange research by adding pertinent tags to articles. This raises the visibility of research work and promotes collaboration. Additionally, meta-tagging can be used to find patterns and trends in scientific material, which can be extremely useful for scientific study. Overall, meta-tagging in scientific writing has several benefits and is crucial for productive and efficient research.


1. What is metadata and how does it work? WhatIs.com. Published July 1, 2021. Accessed May 8, 2023. https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/definition/metadata

2. Meta Tags – How Google Meta Tags Impact SEO. WordStream. Accessed May 8, 2023. https://www.wordstream.com/meta-tags

3. What is metadata? – Castor Blog. What is metadata? – Castor Blog. Accessed May 8, 2023. https://www.castordoc.com/blog/what-is-metadata

4. Library Guides: Metadata Creation: 4. Metadata Creation Process. 4. Metadata Creation Process – Metadata Creation – Library Guides at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Accessed May 8, 2023. https://guides.library.ucsc.edu/c.php?g=618773&p=4306387

5. Kanza S, Gibbins N, Frey JG. Too many tags spoil the metadata: investigating the knowledge management of scientific research with semantic web technologies. Journal of Cheminformatics. 2019;11(1).

~Author : Dr. Priya Verma  


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