A metadata record needs to be finalized and disseminated when the data are ready to be released to others. Authors should develop an approach for compiling the metadata record at the data-management planning stage as described in SM 502.6. Metadata are collected, used, and revised as a living resource throughout the data lifecycle. Therefore, metadata creation should be started as soon as the project begins. When recorded throughout the lifecycle of data, the metadata information is likely to be more accurate and will require less effort than if it is recorded at the end of the project. The metadata information must be updated periodically to document any changes to the data, such as corrections or additions.