Have You Done These Critical Metadata Checks for Your Research Paper? 

by Govind Ravi Sulekha
Have you done these critical metadata checks for your research paper?

Metadata, commonly defined as “data about data,” is becoming increasingly important in the academic publishing domain because it facilitates database management,1 interoperability,2 and secondary research.3 

In the context of a research paper, metadata includes the following: author name(s), affiliation(s), keywords, correspondence details, word count, journal name, volume and issue numbers, page numbers or article ID, and year of publication. Metadata helps place research results in context and enables the analysis of research results across publications. 

Why do we need metadata?

Let’s examine a hypothetical scenario to illustrate the critical role played by metadata in modern-day research dissemination. Imagine a database of literary arts that contains research results on volumes of literature published in different forms. Suppose a reader finds a data point indicating that 5% of published poetry is in the form of social media posts. The reader now wishes to know when this data point was obtained. By examining the associated metadata, the reader finds that the data point was published in 2010. Thus, the reader can safely assume that the percentage of poetry published as social media posts in 2022 is much higher than 5%. The best part is that the consumer of metadata need not necessarily be a human: a machine or algorithm can scan and analyze information effectively with the help of metadata!  

Preflight’s Metadata checks

Paperpal Preflight is an AI-based pre-submission tool advocated by more than 300 academic publications worldwide. Preflight parses your paper for critical metadata required at the initial submission stage. Simply upload your manuscript to Paperpal Preflight, and its sophisticated algorithm does the rest for you:  

  1. It scans the manuscript for author names, affiliations, keywords, correspondence details, and word count.  
  1. It flags any missing information (Figure 1). 
  1. It prepares a detailed report with further comments and suggestions to address any issue(s) associated with the metadata (Figures 2 and 3). 

Figure 1. Paperpal Preflight flagging the absence of keywords and manuscript word count. 

Figure 2. Paperpal Preflight report describing an issue related to the author’s email. 

Figure 3. Comments and suggestions inserted by Paperpal Preflight in a processed manuscript. 

Preflight’s Metadata checks can ensure that you don’t miss any critical information while submitting your manuscript. For instance, if the processed manuscript does not include correspondence details, Paperpal Preflight’s report flags this issue in a comment labeled “Missing author’s email.” Further, Paperpal Preflight inserts the following placeholder text at an appropriate location within the title page of the manuscript: “Corresponding author: Jane AUTEUR, jane.auteur@example.com.” The author can then easily replace this placeholder text with their contact information. 

In today’s evolving landscape of academic publishing, use Paperpal Preflight to easily ensure that your manuscript submission meets all the metadata requirements for your target journal.  

Paperpal Preflight is advocated by 13 leading publishers carrying over 300 journals and is available to use directly from the journal website. If you do not have a target journal in mind, you can use the standard configuration and check your work with Paperpal for Manuscript. 


  1. Michener, W. K. (2006). Meta-information concepts for ecological data management. Ecological Informatics, 1(1), 3-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoinf.2005.08.004 
  1. Chan, L. M., & Zeng, M. L. (2006). Metadata interoperability and standardization – a study of methodology part I. D-Lib Magazine, 12(6), 1082-9873. [Accessed November 14, 2022] https://www.dlib.org/dlib/june06/chan/06chan.html 
  1. Stewart, D. W., & Kamins, M. A. (1993). Secondary research: Information sources and methods (Vol. 4). Sage. 

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