Metadata refers to information about data. In the context of the CLC Microbial Genomics Module, this usually means information about samples. For example a set of reads could come from a particular specimen at a particular time point with particular characteristics. The specimen, time and characteristics would be metadata for that set of reads.

What is metadata used for?

Core uses of metadata in CLC software include:

Metadata tables

An example of a CLC Metadata Table in the CLC Microbial Genomics Module is shown in figure 3.1. Each column represents a property of a sample (e.g., identifier, sample depth, geographic location, temperature) and each row contains information relevant to a sample. A single column can be designated the key column. That column must contain unique entries.

Each row can have associations with one or more data elements, such as sequence lists, taxonomic profiling abundance tables, variant tracks, etc.

Image metadata_table
Figure 3.1: A CLC Metadata Table, with the key column highlighted in blue.

Creating metadata tables

CLC Metadata Tables can be created in several ways, including:

For more ways to create CLC Metadata Tables and information on how to work with CLC Metadata Tables in general, see the Metadata section of the CLC Genomics Workbench user manual,

In addition to the CLC Metadata Table, the CLC Microbial Genomics Module makes use of a special type of metadata table; the Result Metadata Table. As opposed to the CLC Metadata Table, the Result Metadata Table can be updated with selected types of analysis results e.g., antibiotic resistance. This is described in Create Result Metadata Table.