- Write the description for a reader who has general familiarity with a research area but is not a specialist—this will make data more accessible for cross-disciplinary use.
- Don't use specialist acronyms or obscure jargon.
- Don't assume a reader has specialist knowledge.
- Include important keywords within the text—this makes them accessible for search engines. Also include the keywords as subjects.
- Collection descriptions should be consistent with the assigned collection type. If describing a dataset, the description should be about that dataset, not just a general description of the research that created the dataset.
- Reuse of abstracts or research proposals can be a useful source for a collection description, as long as it is appropriate to the collection being described. Headings (such as 'Abstract' or 'Executive summary') should not be imported along with the abstract if possible. Descriptions of projects themselves, as opposed to descriptions of the resulting collections, should be included in an activity record.
- Include a description of the kinds of objects in a collection (e.g. database, printed photographs, digital images, lab notes) and the basis of selection for objects included in the collection (e.g. information about how data was analysed) as well as describing what the collection is about.
- Use authoritative sources for party descriptions, e.g. an institutional profile web page for a researcher or an official organisational web page for an institution.
- Hyperlinks may be used in the description field. These will display as links in Research Data Australia. Alternatively, provide links in RelatedInfo.
XHTML formatting can be provided for text in the Description element to support better display in Research Data Australia.