Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hidden Data Elements of a File, NOT a Secret!

In the last post I explained how to right click on a file, then click on Properties, and then click on the various TABS that come up including Security, etc.

Here is what the "Hidden" information on my file included, but it is not that hidden as I saw the information each time I worked on the file but did not pay attention to author entry, which included
a name of an unknown author in the author field of my paper. I wondered why there is a name in the hidden file that is different from my co-author or me?

And why is my name or my co-author's name not in the "Author" field?

I continue to investigate why the name is of a real person, but to my knowledge not someone working on my document. Was it this person's computer that the project was created on, or did that person really participate in the writing the document by editing something?

A more important question, if a family member borrows my computer, does my name appear
on all their work? If I borrow a friend's computer, is my friend's name on all my work?

In any case, journals say to delete any hidden data on the file before submitting and our first job was to find that data.

Now you can see my name, Rosa, as the author, but the journal we are submitting to wants "NO names"
in the Author Field, so I will delete any personal information at the last moment, before I submit the file to a potential journal publisher.

FYI, this information shows up when one right clicks on the file in Microsoft WORD, Open Office,

If you are ever concerned about what hidden data might be on a file, just right click on it, go to "Properties," the last item in my Windows box, click on Properties, and check each tab presented
including "Security."

How hidden information on a file was easily changed in the days of DOS, was by using the file command "attributes" and designating whether certain attributes were permitted or not.

I could chose to permit "sharing" of the file," make it "Read-Only" so that no one can Edit, etc.

To see a sample set of Metadata from an article, see

The next blog post will be on how to remove Hidden Information!

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