Content pages can have metadata associated with them that describe facts about the pages themselves (rather than the topics that the pages deal with). Content page metadata can be displayed on the pages themselves or be obtained through other means (e.g. the Git repository that tracks the pages or a separate revisions page).



For content pages, the following metadata are some possibilities:

Name Possible values Example usage Description
Epistemic status     Also called “belief” or “confidence” by some authors.
Epistemic effort      
Versioning information Version 1, version as of 2017-11-20, round 1 of work    
Creation date     The date when work on a page began.
Substantive revision date     The date when the last substantive revision was completed. This might coincide with the versioning information if the versioning uses a date-based scheme.
Last modification date     The date when the page was last modified.
Generation date     The date when the page was last generated from source files (if the page is generated from source files).
Edit count     The number of edits that have been made to a page.
Pageviews Any non-negative integer   The number of times a page has been viewed.
Unique pageviews     The number of pageviews by unique devices to a page.
Page size     The size of the page, measured in bytes or multiples of bytes.
Word count     The number of words on the page. This can be complicated by certain software that does templating or dynamic inclusion from external sources. For instance, a MediaWiki page can include a template with many words, in which case the word count of the source file (wiki markup) will produce a lower count than the word count of the generated page (HTML).
Disclosures     Also called “conflicts of interest” information in some contexts.
Completion status A sliding scale like “notes”, “draft”, “almost done”, “finished” is one idea gwern’s website uses completion status tags When the creator of a page has some idea of how the page will develop in the future, it is possible to assign a completion status to the page, indicating how far off from completion the page is.
Votes     Upvotes or downvotes, if the content is hosted or shared on a platform that supports voting.
Reviews     If the content is popular, it may be reviewed by consumers or critics.
License CC-BY, CC0, GPLv2, etc. Pages and uploaded files on Wikipedia have a license attached to them (usually displayed at the bottom of the page). Code repositories often have a LICENSE or COPYING file that describes the license. The license for the content of the page.

It is possible to come up with many more metadata. Most generally, we can conceptualize each page as a list of each timestamped version of the page, plus any timestamped interactions that have been performed on it. Then metadata are just metrics computed based on this information. So “the ASCII number of the fourth byte in the second version of a page multiplied by the sum of the pageviews from 2014” is technically metadata for the page, although not a very useful one.

Metadata tables

Metadata for a set of content pages can be collected and displayed in a metadata table. Examples are:

See also