The XCEDE (XML-based Clinical and Experimental Data Exchange) XML schema, developed by members of the BIRN (Biomedical Informatics Research Network), provides an extensive metadata hierarchy for storing, describing and documenting the data generated by scientific studies. Currently at version 2.0, the XCEDE schema serves as a specification for the exchange of scientific data between databases, analysis tools, and web services. It provides a structured metadata hierarchy, storing information relevant to various aspects of an experiment (project, subject, protocol, etc.). Each hierarchy level also provides for the storage of data provenance information allowing for a traceable record of processing and/or changes to the underlying data. The schema is extensible to support the needs of various data modalities and to express types of data not originally envisioned by the developers. The latest version of the XCEDE schema and manual are available from http://www.xcede.org/ .