Weekly highlights from this week`s weekly life sciences issue include news that a bill has been submitted to Parliament proposing to end retained EU law by the end of 2023 in order to become an “assimilated right”. A risk-benefit ratio helps the EU implement a transferable market exclusivity (i.e. swap) mechanism to encourage research and development of new antibiotics, NICE has conditionally approved the NHS using certain real-world evidence (RWE) for the clinical treatment of Parkinson`s disease. The EMA launched a consultation on draft guidelines on the use of RWE metadata in studies, European notified bodies proposed timetables for the implementation of the MDCG guidelines and the Commission has, inter alia, adopted the AI Liability Directive. Statistical data repositories have their own metadata requirements to describe not only the source and quality of the data, but also the statistical methods used to produce the data, which is particularly important for the statistical community to validate and improve the statistical data production process.  Metadata is essential to e-discovery because it encompasses hidden areas of a digital document and is used by parties to define electronically stored information that is used as evidence in legal cases. Metadata was traditionally used in library card catalogues until libraries converted their catalogue data into digital databases in the 1980s. In the 2000s, as data and information were increasingly stored digitally, this digital data was described using metadata standards. Metadata is a description or definition of electronic data or data about data. Often, metadata is only accessible in certain display modes.
Metadata can include descriptive HTML tags (see Meta tag) and information about when a document was created and what changes were made to that document. Digital audio formats such as digital audio files replaced music formats such as cassettes and CDs in the 2000s. Digital audio files could be provided with more information than could be contained in the file name. This descriptive information is called an audio tag or audio metadata in general. Computer programs that specialize in adding or modifying this information are called tag editors. Metadata can be used to name, describe, catalog, and indicate ownership or copyright of a digital audio file, and its presence makes it much easier to find a particular audio file in a group, typically using a search engine that accesses the metadata. As various digital audio formats have been developed, attempts have been made to standardize a specific location in digital files where this information could be stored. Metadata is simply information about computer files and associated records. For example, consider a Microsoft Word document on your computer.
The following information about the Word document all counts as metadata: Ecological and ecological metadata are intended to document “who, what, when, where, why and how” of data collection for a particular study. This usually means which organization or institution collected the data, what type of data, on what date(s) the data was collected, the reasons for the data collection, and the methodology used for data collection. Metadata should be generated in a format commonly used by the most relevant scientific communities such as Darwin Core, Ecological Metadata Language or Dublin Core. Metadata editing tools exist to facilitate metadata creation (e.g., Metavist, Mercury, Morpho). Metadata should describe where the data came from (where it came from and what transformations the data has undergone) and how the data products can be valued (cited). The HTML format used to define web pages allows for the inclusion of a wide range of metadata types, ranging from simple descriptive text, data and keywords to other advanced metadata schemas such as Dublin Core, e-GMS and AGLS. Pages can also be geolocated. Metadata can be included in the page header or in a separate file. Microformats make it possible to add metadata to the data on the page in a way that ordinary web users don`t see, but computers, crawlers, and search engines can easily access it.
Many search engines are cautious about using metadata in their ranking algorithms due to the use of metadata and the practice of search engine optimization, SEO, to improve rankings. See the article on meta-elements for more details. This cautious attitude may be justified because, according to Doctorow, people do not exercise caution and care in creating their own metadata, and metadata is part of a competitive environment where metadata is used to promote metadata creators` own goals. Studies show that search engines respond to web pages with metadata implementations, and Google has an ad on its website that shows the meta tags that its search engine includes.  Enterprise search startup Swiftype recognizes metadata as a signal of relevance that webmasters can implement for their site-specific search engine, and even publishes its own extension known as Meta Tags 2.  Metadata is used to determine the date and time of documents, author information, and the systems for which the files are native. Metadata in eDiscovery is just as important, and sometimes more important, than the content of a document when it comes to establishing the facts of a case. Often, litigation will succeed or fail based on document retention and is essential for proving certain facts based on a document`s metadata.
Metadata can be stored and managed in a database, often referred to as a metadata tab or metadata repository.  However, without context and reference point, it may not be possible to identify metadata by viewing it alone.  For example: A database containing multiple numbers, all composed of 13 digits, could be the result of calculations or a list of numbers inserted into an equation – without further context, the numbers themselves can be perceived as data. But since this database is a journal of a book collection, these 13-digit numbers can now be identified as ISBNs – information that relates to the book, but is not itself the information contained in the book.