Add Metadata to a file on OSF

Metadata can be added to individual files on the OSF to help identify, discover, and facilitate reuse. Files in OSF are always related to projects or registrations, which have their own metadata as well. Because of this relationship, you do not need to repeat this information for every file. Instead, you can concentrate on just the information that will uniquely apply to your files: the type of material, its language (if applicable), a description, and a title (if it is different from the file name).

Files must first be uploaded to an OSF project or registration before adding additional metadata. Uploading files to OSF projects is described more fully in this help guide

Metadata can be added to files in your native OSF storage or from one of your storage add-ons. This metadata will exist in your OSF project or registration and will not affect files saved on external storage.

Once the files you wish to describe are uploaded, navigate to the project or registration "Files" page

Files page showing a single file

Click on the file you wish to describe to open up the file-level view

File view page showing project metadata

You will see two sections of metadata on the left of the screen: File Metadata and Project or Registration Metadata. The File Metadata will be the only part that is editable from this screen. The other metadata can be changed by editing the Project or Registration level metadata.

To edit the file metadata, click on the pencil icon

File view page showing option to edit file metadata

You will now be able to enter or edit a title and description for the file. Additionally, you may choose a Resource type and Resource language from the dropdown lists. The Resource type list comes from the DataCite schema. You can find out more about the definition of each type in this Resources Type Help Guide.

Once you have completed your changes to the file metadata, click the Save button to record your changes.

File page showing file metadata and save button

Once the metadata has been saved it will now appear when viewing the file.

File view page showing both file and project metadata

You can also download the metadata for a file, independent of the file itself. 

To download the file metadata, open a file and click on the download icon. The metadata for the file will be downloaded in the json format (More information about the JSON format).


This article is licensed under CC0 for maximum reuse.

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