Presentation on theme: "1 Metadata Issues Dr. Paul Miller Interoperability Focus UKOLN U KOLN is funded by Resource: the Council for."— Presentation transcript:
1 Metadata Issues Dr. Paul Miller Interoperability Focus UKOLN U KOLN is funded by Resource: the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, the Joint Information Systems Committee (J ISC ) of the Further and Higher Education Funding Councils, as well as by project funding from J ISC and the EU. U KOLN also receives support from the Universities of Bath and Hull where staff are based.
2 What is Metadata?
3 –meaningless jargon –or a fashionable, and terribly misused, term for what weve always done –or a means of turning data into information –and data about data –and the name of a person (Tony Blair) –and the title of a book (The Name of the Rose).
4 What is Metadata? Metadata exists for almost anything; People Places Objects Concepts Web pages Databases.
5 What is Metadata? Resource Discovery Metadata fulfils three main functions; Description of resource content –What is it? Description of resource form –How is it constructed? Description of resource use –Can I afford it?.
6 Metadata is Cataloguing made cool But still a bit geeky? An important driver for the information economy ? A panacea in the battle against information overload ? Potentially useful as an affordable and cost–effective means of unlocking a wealth of resources ?.
7 Metadata in the Wild
8 So what has changed? the Internet Information for All… –(if they have a computer, a phone line, certain skills…) Delivery of resources by resource owners/creators Rather than by intermediaries such as librarians Customer focus/ accountability Open Government, etc. A growing belief that I can do anything Cataloguing is easy, isnt it? A recognition of Good Enough rather than Best Fitness for purpose.
9 Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what work is being undertaken to enable citizens and businesses to quickly find official information on the internet and elsewhere.  Mr. Ian McCartney: This Government are fully aware of the need of citizens and businesses quickly to find official information on the internet, and elsewhere. It should be possible to find information without knowing any technical terms, and without knowing which Department or agency is responsible for it. The new e-Government Metadata Framework outlines our policy on metadata. It explains how we will use an internationally recognised standard, the Dublin Core, as the basis for our own system of tagging all information resources. This will make them easier to find and easier to manage, and make life easier for our citizens. The Metadata Framework is a natural addition to the e-Government Interoperability Framework, which I launched on 11 October last year. As with the Interoperability Framework, adherence to the Metadata Framework is mandated across the public sector. House of Commons Hansard written answer for 3 May 2001 v
13 See ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/
14 See ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/
15 See ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/
21 Case Study: the Dublin Core
22 Introducing the Dublin Core An attempt to improve resource discovery on the Web –now adopted more broadly Building an interdisciplinary consensus about a core element set for resource discovery –simple and intuitive –cross–disciplinary not just libraries!! –international –open and consensual –flexible. See
23 15 elements of descriptive metadata All elements optional All elements repeatable The whole is extensible –offers a starting point for semantically richer descriptions. Introducing the Dublin Core
24 Title Creator Subject Description Publisher Contributor Date Type Format Identifier Source Language Relation Coverage Rights Introducing the Dublin Core
25 So… what does Dublin Core offer us? A set of 15 broad buckets –Which can easily be mapped to existing data –Which are sufficiently loose, semantically, that they are acceptable to a large number of communities –Which can act as 15 windows into richer resources –Which allow integration at a high level of databases, library catalogues, web pages, etc., without needing to catalogue them the same way.
26 What is it not? (Necessarily) a replacement for any richer standard –Subject Gateways, National Library of Finland A detailed set of cataloguing rules –AACR2 Just about digital resources.
27 Towards a Standard Standardising the 15 elements… CEN Workshop Agreement Z39.85 approved by NISO.
28 Extending DC (semantic) Improve descriptive precision by adding sub–structure (subelements and schemes) –Greater precision = lesser interoperability Should dumb down gracefully Creator First Name Surname Contact Info Affiliation Based on a slide by Stu Weibel Element qualifierValue qualifier
29 Extending DC (modularity) Modular extensibility… Additional elements to support local needs Complementary packages of metadata …but only if we get the building blocks right! DescriptionSpatial character Terms & Conditions Based on a slide by Stu Weibel
30 DCMI Registry DC and Interoperability All Domains DC Metadata Element Set EducationLibrariesetc. DC–EdDC–LibDC– … GEMeDNASchoolNet S.E.P. !!!
31 DC for Education Long–term adoption of DC in educational sector GEM (USA) EdNA (Australia) SchoolNet (Europe) DC Education working group established 1999.
32 Extending DC for Education Common extensions… Audience –K–12, FE, etc. Duration –23 minutes, 1 module, 1 semester… Standards Quality –Very good, of course! Plus some, used by < 2 projects, declared out of scope.
33 Extending DC for Education Working principles… Is there a need? Can the need be met with a new value qualifier? Can the need be met with a new element qualifier? Can the need be solved by adopting an element from elsewhere? Only if No, add a new element.
34 Extending DC for Education The Solution Add element qualifier to Relation –conformsTo Adopt from IEEE LOM –Interactivity Type –Interactivity Level –Typical Learning Time Add new elements –Audience –Standard. See education-namespace/
35 Metadata: Issues
36 Metadata Issues Doing Metadata is not the solution many believe it to be There is no one size–fits all miracle cure Many problems remain to be satisfactorily resolved But there is a useful place for metadata– based implementations.
37 Formats and Flavours MARC, DC, EAD, IEEE LOM… UNIMARC, MARC21, FINMARC… DC, DC–Ed, DC–Lib… Do Application Profiles offer an answer? Is crosswalking feasible? Does Dublin Core offer a useful pidgin?. See
38 Tools & Guidance Tools are needed to ease the process of metadata creation Guidance is required to ensure a degree of logic and consistency. See
39 Cost Creating metadata is not cheap Create once, use many times –Archaeology Data Service (ADS) –Amazons role in ONIX Is the cost saving of a DC record sufficient to offset the added value of a MARC record?. See See See ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/
40 Update Metadata dates How do we keep it current? –Dont create; export –SINES v. Data Locator –Harvest –OAI –Automated approaches –Prompt creators, and delete after 6 months?. See See datalocator.askgiraffe.org.uk/
41 Search How do we ensure comparability? Searches are rarely comparing like with like… Dealing with the Google Generation. See ahds.ac.uk/
42 Terminology How do we describe resources consistently across domains? How do we surface these descriptions to those without training or a bookshelf full of thesauri? Countering the Google effect. See
43 Metadata Issues …and the rest…! Quality/ Authority Managing complexity Integration with proper cataloguing Relationship to back–end systems.
44 Conclusion Metadata is a reaction to a changing world It bears some relation to traditional cataloguing activities but is also different Each has a place There is work still to do!.