Understanding the Nested Tabbed Format

  • In each metadata file, you will have a "#property" column and at least one "value" column.
  • The "#property" column contains different metadata properties, and the "value" column contains values for those metadata properties.
  • For each entry in the "#property" column, you'll notice that different properties have different numbers of dashes and stars preceding the actual property names.
  • These "-" and "*" symbols serve as nesting prefixes.
    • When a given property is nested underneath another property, that means the first property is a subproperty of the second property.
    • The subproperty usually provides more detail about the parent property in some way.
  • You can see an example to better understand the nested tabbed format.

The Symbol -

  • The symbol "-" indicates an additional basic level of nesting for a given property. For example, see the table below:
#property value
-- Biological Fluid
--- Biofluid Name serum
--- Collection Details
---- Sample Collection Method venipuncture
  • Here, --- Biofluid Name and --- Collection Details are nested under -- Biological Fluid, and ---- Sample Collection Method is nested under --- Collection Details.
  • The Biofluid Name and Collection Details properties provide more information about the Biological Fluid property, and the Sample Collection Method property provides more information about the Collection Details property.

The Symbol *

  • The symbol "*" indicates that the property contains an item list.
  • This list can be as long as you like, and each property name will be the same within the list.
  • For example: Imagine that you have 4 authors associated with your study. There is a property named * Authors in your Studies metadata file.
    Below this property, there will be 1 row for the *- Author Name property. This property is an item in the * Authors item list.
    If you want to add 3 more authors, simply add another 3 rows of *- Author Name, like so:
#property value
* Authors
*- Author Name NAME1
*- Author Name NAME2
*- Author Name NAME3
*- Author Name NAME4

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