10 takeaways from Metadata Architectures & Implementations
Spelling inconsistencies require resolution in metadata crosswalks.
When crosswalking between a master and a target metadata element set, discretion will have to be used in choosing which spelling or word variation to include in the final element set.
ONIX metadata standards are vast, powerful, and also complicated.
ONIX (an acronym for ONline Information eXchange) is the international standard for representing book industry metadata information in electronic formats. It is a free, XML-based standard used by several players in the book industry including publishers, bookstores, chain suppliers, etc.
VRA Core is an ideal metadata standard for describing visual cultural items and their accompanying images.
Created as recently as 1996, VRA Core is the go-to standard for many art and architecture schools, as well as library, archive, and museum (LAM) institutions.
Metadata repositories combine metadata from dozens of partnering institutions to create one, powerful information discovery tool.
For example, The National Science Digital Library (NSDL) gathers educational resources from scientific, engineering, and mathematical fields and stores them in one, searchable location. The educational resources are contributed to NSDL through several different data providers. The original digital versions are housed in the original location - but the “integrated metadata” is converted to Dublin Core standards for searching within the NSDL database.
Metadata standards are crucial for metadata repositories.
Metadata repositories are capable of dynamic and impressive information discovery, but implementing metadata standards for the repository itself is just as important as the standards required by the original locations. As in the NSDL example, original metadata is converted to Dublin Core standards for maximum search and findability.
Darwin Core (DwC) metadata standard for biological taxonomic systems was in creation for almost 10 years.
The standard is maintained by the Biodiversity Information Standards (BIS) group and was first proposed in 1758 by Linnaeus, who in turn inspired the famed naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt. DwC is currently used by zoological societies, ocean biographic systems, and encyclopedias and atlases.
Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) is the current go-to standard for several industries across the world.
Dublin Core was originated in Dublin, Ohio in 1995 during the meeting of the OCLC/NCSA Metadata Workshop. It has a simple 15 element approach that has compelling and effective results on information search and retrieval systems.
Metadata has wide-reaching effects.
Appropriate and useful metadata is crucial for information retrieval in the computer age. Without metadata, most of the information stored on the internet and across computer systems would be inaccessible and essentially lost. Metadata assists users in ways that we don’t always consider - far from the helping users find information in prestigious digital libraries, metadata also helps families find their new family member on pet adoption websites, or locate images to complete their genealogical family tree.
Metadata is an important aspect of implementing knowledge management (KM) policies.
Knowledge management is the act of gathering tacit knowledge and making it accessible, retrieval, and usable by the organization or the general public. Metadata assists with the findability aspect of a good KM policy implementation plan.
People are sick of hearing me talk about metadata, taxonomies, and folksonomies.
This last one is a little tongue in cheek, but it is true. I find my admiration and passion for metadata and taxonomy/folksonomies just keeps continuing to grow! It’s something I find myself talking about quite a bit, much to the chagrin of those who are closest to me. (They’re learning a lot though!)