Every dataset contains metadata. For open data we follow the guidelines set in the DCAT-Standard.
DCAT describes datasets in data catalogs. By utilizing the DCAT-Standard, publishers increase discoverability and enable applications to easily consume metadata from multiple catalogs. Furthermore, it enables decentralized publishing of catalogs and facilitates federated dataset search across sites. Aggregated DCAT metadata can serve as a manifest file to facilitate digital preservation.
DCAT stands for "Data Cataolg Vocabulary," which provides a standard that allows for interoperability between data-catalogs.
By conforming to the DCAT-Standard, datasets may be automatically registered in the National Open Data Register: Data Overheid Nederland.