Background or contextual information about something. Metadata is not the content itself – rather it is the content and facts that surround the thing.î It is a term that started in computer databases and has become a more common one, talking about all kinds of information. As an example, the metadata for a conference can be facts like the location it is held, the year, the hosting institution, and the organizing institution. It is not the panels held or the papers presented.
Another example, a book. The author, the publisher, publishing date, and related books are all metadata. The content, the chapter titles, and characters are not metadata.