does metadata matter?

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A lunchtime seminar for Eduserv staff.

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  • or

    should we be interested in metadata and, if so, why?

    Does metadata matter?

  • Im going to try to deliver 130 slides in 30 minutes

    Does metadata matter?

  • then you can ask questions

    (yes I really did say 130 slides)

    Does metadata matter?

  • non-technical

    Does metadata matter?

  • metadata jargon

    Does metadata matter?

  • first, some history

    Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • metadata is

    Does metadata matter?

  • machine-readable

    Does metadata matter?

  • descriptive

    Does metadata matter?

  • for the purposes of

    Does metadata matter?

  • resource discovery

    Does metadata matter?

  • resource management

    Does metadata matter?

  • delivery / access control

    Does metadata matter?

  • use / re-use

    Does metadata matter?

  • long term preservation

    Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • MARC - Machine-Readable Catalogue

    Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • still the predominant

    metadata standard

    (in the
    library world)

    Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • a distributed search standard called

    Z39.50

    so that multiple library catalogues can be searched from one place

    Does metadata matter?

  • AACR2 currently being replaced by

    RDA

    (more generic i.e. not just books!)

    Does metadata matter?

  • Z39.50 supplemented by SRW and SRU

    (Web-friendly variants)

    Does metadata matter?

  • FRBR

    Does metadata matter?

  • none of which needs bother you

    Does metadata matter?

  • other than to note that

    Does metadata matter?

  • metadata tends to get more complicated the longer you think about it

    Does metadata matter?

  • 1994

    Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • a few 10s of 1000s of pages

    Does metadata matter?

  • but recognised that finding stuff was going to start getting difficult

    Does metadata matter?

  • people (mainly librarians) began trying to catalogue it by hand

    Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • http://www.intute.ac.uk/

    http://www.intute.ac.uk/

    Does metadata matter?

  • meanwhile

    Does metadata matter?

  • AltaVista

    (first major Web search engine circa 1995)

    Does metadata matter?

  • people began to realise that the metadata they embedded into Web pages might be important

    Does metadata matter?

  • hang on

    did I just say metadata embedded into Web pages?

    Does metadata matter?

  • A web page

    Does metadata matter?

  • A web page

    Does metadata matter?

  • birth of the SEO industry

    Does metadata matter?

  • then came Google

    Does metadata matter?

  • and the rest, as they say, is history

    Does metadata matter?

  • Google takes note of links between pages

    Google PageRank

    Does metadata matter?

  • but places less emphasis on embedded metadata

    Does metadata matter?

  • metaspam

    Does metadata matter?

  • metacrap

    put your title here

    Does metadata matter?

  • despite that, work continued on embedded metadata

    most notably in the form of

    Does metadata matter?

  • Dublin Core

    (circa 1995)

    Does metadata matter?

  • initially 15 metadata elements

    a.k.a properties

    a.k.a. attribute/value pairs

    Does metadata matter?

  • contributor

    coverage

    creator

    date

    description

    format

    identifier

    language

    publisher

    relation

    rights

    source

    subject

    title

    type

    Does metadata matter?

  • embedded into Web pages

    Does metadata matter?

  • or encoded using XML

    Does metadata matter?

  • intention was to improve indexing by search engines

    Does metadata matter?

  • but people forgot about

    Does metadata matter?

  • metaspam and metacrap

    Does metadata matter?

  • the search engines didnt!

    Does metadata matter?

  • and so, by and large,

    search engines still ignore embedded metadata

    Does metadata matter?

  • despite that, there has been fairly widespread adoption in policy terms

    Does metadata matter?

  • particularly in e-Government

    (e.g. UK eGMS)

    Does metadata matter?

  • but also in other areas education, health, environmental agencies, libraries, cultural heritage sector,

    Does metadata matter?

  • growth of rules around metadata content

    (i.e. cataloguing rules)

    (everyones rules are different)

    Does metadata matter?

  • and growth in use of additional elements for particular communities

    (and everyones additions are different)

    Does metadata matter?

  • such usage documented in the form of application profiles

    Does metadata matter?

  • Dublin Core Metadata Initiative

    coordinating standards body

    (note again: growing complexity over time)

    Does metadata matter?

  • meanwhile

    Does metadata matter?

  • the W3C developed the Resource Description Framework (RDF)

    (circa 1999)

    Does metadata matter?

  • the standard for the Semantic Web

    Does metadata matter?

  • Tim Berners-Lees vision for a machine-readable Web of data

    Does metadata matter?

  • allowing software to navigate and reason about Web content automatically

    Does metadata matter?

  • a Web of Linked Data

    Does metadata matter?

  • RDF, RDFS, OWL, FOAF,

    (but also Microformats, RSS, )

    Does metadata matter?

  • meanwhile

    Does metadata matter?

  • elearning community was busy developing its own standards

    Does metadata matter?

  • IEEE LOM

    (Learning Object Metadata)

    Does metadata matter?

  • same as DC

    but different!

    (different elements, different syntax)

    Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • a brief aside

    Does metadata matter?

  • identifiers are important

    Does metadata matter?

  • URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) is the identifier system of the Web

    Does metadata matter?

  • but some issues

    e.g. around persistence

    Does metadata matter?

  • to cut a long story short

    Does metadata matter?

  • it turns out that http URIs (a.k.a. URLs) are the worst kind of Web identifier

    Does metadata matter?

  • apart from all the others

    Does metadata matter?

  • (not everyone agrees with that!)

    Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • repositories

    Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • but arXiv was not the only repository

    Does metadata matter?

  • recognised need for aggregating metadata from different repositories into a single place so that it could be searched

    Does metadata matter?

  • OAI-PMH

    (a protocol for metadata harvesting)

    Does metadata matter?

  • harvesting metadata into repository search engines

    of which OAIster is best known

    (but it isnt really used much)

    Does metadata matter?

  • and the major search engines like Google dont support the OAI-PMH

    Does metadata matter?

  • because it isnt mainstream enough

    (and because of metaspam and metacrap)

    Does metadata matter?

  • and so to 2008

    Does metadata matter?

  • political agenda around institutional repositories

    Does metadata matter?

  • in order to store, manage and disclose

    Does metadata matter?

  • institutional assets

    research papers

    learning objects

    research data

    Does metadata matter?

  • exposing metadata about these things using the OAI-PMH to search services

    Does metadata matter?

  • which services?

    err OAIster :-(

    Does metadata matter?

  • what kind of metadata?

    typically DC

    Does metadata matter?

  • or a variant of DC

    because simple DC is really too simple to be very useful

    Does metadata matter?

  • but unfortunately

    Does metadata matter?

  • DC variants tend to be more complex

    and therefore metadata cant be created very easily by ordinary researchers

    Does metadata matter?

  • but thats another story!

    Does metadata matter?

  • ok

    Does metadata matter?

  • why are we interested?

    Does metadata matter?

  • are we interested?

    Does metadata matter?

  • metadata is everywhere

    Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • Does metadata matter?

  • metadata in sites like