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.|
|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
||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 for a set of content pages can be collected and displayed in a metadata table. Examples are:
- The table of timelines on the front page of Timelines Wiki.
- The all pages page on Issa Rice’s website.
- The gwern.net metadata table created by Issa Rice for Gwern Branwen’s website.