What are metadata and why are they so important?
Metadata are the in-depth, controlled description of the sample that your sequence was taken from. Essentially, the ‘what, where, how, and when' of your study from collection to sequence generation, plus contextual data such as environmental conditions (latitude, longitude, temperature) or clinical observations.
It is essential to describe your samples with such data in order to carry out a meaningful comparison with other samples or projects. For this to happen, all submitters must use a common set of terms to ensure that the vocabulary used to define metadata is constrained.
Using a controlled vocabulary to describe metadata
Figure 1 Looking for the correct ENVO term to describe the biome environment on the Environmental Ontology website.