data element

n.A unit of information as defined within an information system, typically corresponding to a field in a database record or printed form.


A data element may include subelements (or subfields) and may simultaneously be a part of a larger data element. For example, a field in a MARC record consists of a number of elements, including a tag, indicators, and the contents, which may be divided into subfields. The field itself may be considered an element of the MARC record.