Introducing metadata Finding stuff and using stuff Gordon

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Introducing metadata Finding stuff and using stuff Gordon Dunsire

Introducing metadata Finding stuff and using stuff Gordon Dunsire

Overview • • • What is metadata? What does it look like? What is

Overview • • • What is metadata? What does it look like? What is it used for? How does it work? Where will it all end?

Definition? • • • “Data about data” Information about information Information about an information

Definition? • • • “Data about data” Information about information Information about an information resource Useful information about a resource Useful information about specific aspects of a resource • Whatever, there’s a lot of it about

Example: URL http: //www. slainte. org. uk/files/pdf/cilips/foisa 04. pdf Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act

Example: URL http: //www. slainte. org. uk/files/pdf/cilips/foisa 04. pdf Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002: a guide for the information professional “http” = how to get the document (protocol) “www. slainte. org. uk” = where to find the document in cyberspace (domain) “files/pdf/cilips” = where the document is stored (path) “foisa 04” = the name of the document (file name) “pdf” = the type of document (file type) “: ”, “/”, “. ” = standard punctuation separating each piece of information (element)

Example: Catalogue card The adventures of Sherlock Holmes / by A. Conan Doyle ;

Example: Catalogue card The adventures of Sherlock Holmes / by A. Conan Doyle ; illustrations by Sidney Paget. - London : G. Newnes, 1895. “The adventures of Sherlock Holms” = title of the book “by A. Conan Doyle; illustrations by Sidney Paget” = who is responsible for the creative content of the book “London” = place of publication, “G. Newnes” = name of publisher “ 1895” = date of publication “/”, “-”, “: ” = standard punctuation separating each element

Example: Accessions/purchase register Date |Title |Date|Sup|Price|Number 10/02/65|Physics is fun |1964|THI| 7/6| 20156 10/02/65|Physics is

Example: Accessions/purchase register Date |Title |Date|Sup|Price|Number 10/02/65|Physics is fun |1964|THI| 7/6| 20156 10/02/65|Physics is fun |1964|THI| 7/6| 20157 10/02/65|Berkeley physics v. 1 |1964|FAR|3/9/6| 20158 10/02/65|Berkeley physics v. 2 |1964|FAR|2/7/0| 20159 10/02/65|Berkeley physics v. 3 |1964|FAR|2/7/6| 20160 10/02/65|Berkeley physics v. 4 |1964|FAR|3/9/6| 20161 10/02/65|Berkeley physics v. 5 |1964|FAR|3/9/6| 20162

Some uses of metadata (1) • Information retrieval (finding stuff) – Searching • Lists

Some uses of metadata (1) • Information retrieval (finding stuff) – Searching • Lists of metadata elements (title, authors, publisher, etc. ) • Words in (digital) metadata (title, notes, etc. ) – Identifying • Descriptive metadata (title, notes, edition, date, etc. ) – Finding • Item metadata (shelfmark, barcode, etc. )

Some uses of metadata (2) • Stock management (managing stuff) – Acquisition • Date,

Some uses of metadata (2) • Stock management (managing stuff) – Acquisition • Date, cost, supplier, etc. – Storage • Collection, shelfmark – Circulation • Barcode – Preservation • Format (serial, a-v, digital, etc. ), date (age), etc.

Some uses of metadata (3) • Automated processing (using stuff) – Information retrieval •

Some uses of metadata (3) • Automated processing (using stuff) – Information retrieval • OPACs – Access to digital resources • Getting via Web browser, file transfer, etc. • Displaying using browser plug-ins, etc. – Multiple metadata records in multiple electronic locations with different metadata formats

Characteristics (1) • A metadata record is (usually) significantly smaller than the stuff it

Characteristics (1) • A metadata record is (usually) significantly smaller than the stuff it describes – Catalogue card vs book – Metadata is a precis or abstract of those aspects of the data deemed useful for retrieval, management, processing, etc. – Abbreviations and codes are often used – Some exceptions include small manuscripts with a long history …

Characteristics (2) • Different types of information resource require different metadata elements – Some

Characteristics (2) • Different types of information resource require different metadata elements – Some elements are common; e. g. title, date – Publication pattern and frequency are specific to serial resources – URLs don’t apply to printed books – Local preservation metadata is not required for remote digital resources – Etc.

Characteristics (3) • Many resources are composed of other resources, so metadata can be

Characteristics (3) • Many resources are composed of other resources, so metadata can be applied at different levels of “granularity” – In library catalogues, journals usually have metadata about the journal as a whole, and not about individual articles • Articles have metadata in abstract and indexing services – Some libraries catalogue multi-media kits as a whole; others catalogue each component

Value of consistency • A benefit of metadata is to provide consistency and coherency

Value of consistency • A benefit of metadata is to provide consistency and coherency in using and processing resources – Resources themselves come with the widest variation in “intrinsic” metadata • Forms of title, etc. ; layout; completeness; etc. – Metadata can be created consistently and structured coherently to improve effectiveness and efficiency in its use • Similarities and differences easier to spot

Achieving consistency • Ensuring consistent metadata is not simple – Common and format-specific elements

Achieving consistency • Ensuring consistent metadata is not simple – Common and format-specific elements as well as creative reaction to “the norm” • “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” – Natural variation in naming and describing things • J. Smith, John Smith (Labour), etc. • Requires standards and guidance

Metadata standards • Coherent set of elements organised (structured and labelled) in a consistent

Metadata standards • Coherent set of elements organised (structured and labelled) in a consistent way – a schema (loosely) – “Title” or “Caption”? Include the subtitle or use a “Subtitle” element? Always include a title? • Guidance on identifying and interpreting elements in the resource – Title on spine, cover or title-page? • Guidance on standardising content – Include “The” at the start of the title?

From the local … • Achieving consistency benefits local users of metadata (efficient, effective)

From the local … • Achieving consistency benefits local users of metadata (efficient, effective) • Self-propelled users become non-local, so there are benefits in achieving consistency between libraries • And metadata creation is complex (expensive), so there is value in sharing records

… to the global • So national and international standards have been used since

… to the global • So national and international standards have been used since the first modern library catalogues (100+ years) • With significant evolution from the 1960 s – Computers; “machine-readable cataloguing” • And again from the 1990 s – Internet/Web; “common information environment” including archives and museums

Some standards (1) • MARC 21 (21 st century machine-readable cataloguing) – 40 years

Some standards (1) • MARC 21 (21 st century machine-readable cataloguing) – 40 years old; covers wide range of library stuff in depth • Difficult to use - requires professional training • DC (Dublin Core) – Ohio, that is – 10 years old; covers wider range of stuff (archives, museums) at much less depth • Easier to use by a wider range of people • DC/MARC structures can interoperate via element mappings

Some standards (2) • AACR (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules) – Older than MARC; covers wide

Some standards (2) • AACR (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules) – Older than MARC; covers wide range of library stuff in depth • Complements MARC; requires professional training – Undergoing radical development as RDA (Resource Description and Access) • Becoming suitable for DC and other formats • Content interoperability

Whither metadata? • Many formats in use • Wide variation in coverage and content

Whither metadata? • Many formats in use • Wide variation in coverage and content • No longer created exclusively by trained professionals – Wider “interpretation” of the rules (if any) • Needs to be joined-up so it can be used effectively at a global (non-local) level – Interoperability!

Joined-up metadata • Caters to a wider range of users • Public/life-long learners/local business;

Joined-up metadata • Caters to a wider range of users • Public/life-long learners/local business; staff/students; teachers/learners/researchers; archives/libraries/museums • Covers a wider range of resources • Originals/digitised copies; complex websites/blogs/wikis; archives/libraries/museums • Is created by a wider range of people • Acquisitions/cataloguing/serials; webpage writers/online reviewers/wikis/folksonomists

Recap • Metadata is useful information about specific aspects of a resource • Specific

Recap • Metadata is useful information about specific aspects of a resource • Specific aspects are structured and labelled as metadata elements • Different types of resource have different sets of elements, with a common core set • Non-local use is increasingly important • Standards are evolving to improve usefulness

Thank you My card Dunsire, Gordon Me / My parents. - Kirkcaldy : The

Thank you My card Dunsire, Gordon Me / My parents. - Kirkcaldy : The parents, 1951. g. [email protected] ac. uk