What is the DataCite metadata schema?

The DataCite Metadata Schema is a list of core metadata properties chosen for the accurate and consistent identification of a resource for citation and retrieval purposes, along with recommended use instructions. The resource that is being identified can be of any kind, but it is typically a dataset.
We use the term ‘dataset’ in its broadest sense.


There are three different levels of obligation for the metadata properties:

  • Mandatory (M) properties must be provided,
  • Recommended (R ) properties are optional, but strongly recommended and   
  • Optional (O) properties are optional and provide richer description.   

Those data centres who wish to enhance the prospects that their metadata will be found, cited and linked to original research are strongly encouraged to submit the Recommended as well a Mandatory set of properties. Together, the Mandatory and Recommended set of properties and their sub‐properties are especially valuable to information seekers and added‐service providers, such as indexers. DataCite strongly urge the inclusion of metadata identified as Recommended for the purpose of achieving greater exposure for the resource’s metadata record, and therefore, the underlying research itself.   

External Documentation

DataCite Metadata Schema Version 4.1