Basic metadata

Patrick Smith Updated by Patrick Smith

Basic metadata are displayed for users in the front office. These include the default "Standard" metadata template common to every dataset, but may also include custom templates.

This article explains how to access your basic metadata, what "Standard" metadata contains, and finally refers to you the page about creating and editing new metadata templates.

How to access basic metadata

As with all metadata, to fill in the basic metadata on a given dataset, go to its Information tab. There all activated templates will be shown as tabs. Select the relevant template, such as Standard, or else a custom template if you have created one.

To configure your basic metadata, in your back office go to the page Catalog > Metadata templates and click on the Basic tab. There you'll see the Standard template, which is always present, and any custom basic metadata templates you have created.

To view the template, roll over the template. You are given the option to Activate, Deactivate, View, or Delete the template. To open and edit the template, click View.

What "Standard" metadata contains

Remember that the Standard metadata template is a default template. It cannot be modified nor deleted. The table below describes the fields visible on the Information tab for each dataset, and describes how they're used or should be filled out.

Other metadata fields visible in the Standard template are present to ensure the proper functioning of the platform. As such, they require no action on your part, and are visible in neither the back office nor the portal.

General information





The title you give your dataset.

A dataset's title can always be modified, and all special characters are supported. Note that modifying the title does not change the technical identifier of the dataset.

Technical identifier

The unique name of the dataset.

A dataset's technical identifier is defined when the dataset is created. It can be modified, but you must save and unpublish the dataset in order to do so.


A description of the dataset.

Write a dataset description in the textbox. HTML is accepted. A set of formatting options are available in the grey bar at the top of the textbox: hover the buttons for more information and click on the chosen buttons to use any formatting option.


Themes the dataset belongs to. Dataset themes are one of the catalog filters available in the front office of an Opendatasoft portal.

  1. Click on the textbox. A drop down selection of the themes defined for the workspace automatically appears.
  2. Click on the chosen theme.
  3. (optional) To add another theme to the dataset, click repeat steps 1 and 2 of this procedure.

To delete a dataset theme, click on the cross at the right of the dataset theme name.


Keywords to define the dataset and better find it through searches. Keywords are one of the catalog filters available in the front office of an Opendatasoft portal.

  1. Write one or more keywords in the textbox. These can contain special characters and be comprised of one or more words.
  2. (optional) A list of already used keywords appears, matching the letters just written in the textbox. It is possible to click on one of these keywords to reuse them.
  3. Once the keyword is selected or written, press Enter.
  4. (optional) To add other keywords, repeat steps 1 to 3 of this procedure.

To delete a keyword, click on the cross to the right of the keyword.

Display modification date

Date indicating when the dataset was last modified.

The date can either be set manually or automatically.

  • To set the date manually, activate the Update manually button. Using the date picker displayed below the button, choose a date and time.
  • To set the date automatically, depending on which action should lead to the modification of the date, click either or both:
    • The Update automatically when metadata has changed button
    • The Update automatically when data has changed button.
      Changes to the data include any change to the Processing tab, such as adding a processor or modifying filters. Modifying a dataset's source, and republishing if the data has changed will also count, for example if you schedule a republication using a URL or an FTP server as a source.
    Depending on the dataset, some options can be unavailable. If the dataset is federated, or if there is no data source, the last modification date can only be set manually, or when metadata have changed.

Regional information





Language of the data in the dataset.

  1. Click on the drop down menu.
  2. Choose a language amongst the workspace's languages or other languages available.


This metadata forces the dataset to use the timezone defined here for the date and datetime fields. It keeps the dataset from being displayed based on the timezone setting in the user's browser.

See here for more information on timezones in Opendatasoft.

  1. Click on the arrow on the right of the textbox. A drop down selection of timezones appears.
  2. Click on the chosen timezone.

It is also possible to write in the textbox. Matching results from the list will appear. Click on a result to select it.

Geographic coverage

Geographic coverage of the data contained in the dataset. This metadata is directly linked to the geographic filter displayed in the front office of the portal: If the geographic coverage metadata is set for a dataset, users will be able to find it through a geographic search of the catalog.

Click the button of the chosen option amongst the following:

  • None (default for datasets without geographical data): the geographic coverage won't be set for the dataset, which won't be searchable through the geographic filter.
  • Automatic (default): if the dataset contains geopoints, the geographic coverage will be automatically defined as the smallest envelope containing all of the records' locations. Note that all data will be taken into account for this computation, regardless of security parameters. If the dataset doesn't contain geopoints, but that a Datasets default location was set for the workspace, this default location will be used.
  • Specific: Enter the names of the data locations in the textbox; a drop-down selection of matching location names will appear. Click on the right locations, which will appear on the map.

All added locations must be at the same administrative level.

Licensing & attribution





License attached to the dataset.

  1. Click on the arrow on the right of the textbox. A drop down selection of licences defined for the workspace automatically appears.
  2. Click on the chosen license.


Name of the person or organization who published the dataset.

Write the name of the publisher in the textbox. A list of already used publisher names appears, matching the letters just written. It is possible to click on one of these names to reuse them.


Link of the source of the dataset.

Enter the URL of the reference of the dataset in the textbox.


Link of a source of the dataset that should be mentioned for legal reasons (e.g. if the license demands the mention of a specific source or organization).

Enter the URL of the source in the textbox.

Metadata inherited from the Standard template

Some metadata from the Standard template is also found in other templates. To make filling out metadata easier and less redundant, and to improve the search performance for those metadata, those other templates will "inherit" the relevant values from the Standard template.

In the image above, you can see that the DCAT-AP template includes inherited metadata, and they are indicated in a separate box.

We encourage you to always fill out out the Standard metadata template. But note that if you have not done so, to fill out all of the metadata for a template with inherited metadata you must complete the inherited fields within the Standard template.

To make this easier, if you're within a template with inherited metadata and wish to fill out or modify one of those pieces of metadata, you can always click on the arrow to its right.

This will take you back to the Standard template, where you can modify that metadata. Don't forget to Save your changes.

Creating and modifying a custom template

For instructions on how to create a custom template, or how to modify one, see this page.

We strongly encourage you to read the page linked above before editing your templates, as some necessary and permanent consequences may not be immediately obvious.

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