Like metadata itsel\ue000, the realm o\ue000 online resources is constantly and rapidly
evolving. Much has changed in the digital in\ue000ormation landscape since
the frst print edition o\ue000 this book was published in 1998 and the revised
online version appeared in 2000. The time is right \ue000or an updated edition
o\ue000 this text, intended to give a general introduction to metadata and to
explain some o\ue000 the key tools, concepts, and issues associated with using
metadata to build authoritative, reliable, and use\ue000ul digital resources.
Metadata creation is\u2014or should o\ue000ten be\u2014a collaborative e\ue000\ue000ort, as is this book. For this edition, the three contributors to the 2000 version wrote updated chapters, and I was \ue000ortunate to fnd a new contributor to address the crucial issue o\ue000 rights metadata.
In the frst chapter, Anne Gilliland provides an overview o\ue000
metadata\u2014its types, roles, and characteristics\u2014as well as \ue000acts about
metadata that belie several common misconceptions. She also addresses
current trends in metadata, especially that o\ue000 metadata created by users
rather than trained in\ue000ormation pro\ue000essionals. Activities such as social
tagging, social bookmarking, and the resulting \ue000orms o\ue000 user-created
metadata such as \u201c\ue000olksonomies\u201d are playing an increasingly important
role in the realm o\ue000 digital in\ue000ormation.
In the second chapter, Tony Gill discusses metadata as it relates
to resources on the Web. He explains how Web search engines work and
how they use metadata, data, links, and relevance ranking to help users
fnd what they are seeking and discusses in detail the commercial search
engine that as o\ue000 this writing has dominated the Web \ue000or several years:
Google. He explains the di\ue000\ue000erence between the Visible Web and the
Hidden Web and the important implications and issues relating to making
resources reachable \ue000rom commercial, publicly available search engines
versus systems that have one or more \u201cbarriers\u201d to access\u2014because they
are \ue000ee based or password protected or require a particular IP address, or
simply because they are not technically exposed to commercial search
engines. Gill also raises issues relating to open access to digitized materials
and legal obstacles that currently prevent open access to many materials.
In the third chapter, Mary Woodley examines the methods,
tools, standards, and protocols that can be used to publish and disseminate
digital collections in a variety o\ue000 online venues. She shows how \u201cseamless
searching\u201d\u2014integrated access to a variety o\ue000 resources residing in di\ue000\ue000erent
in\ue000ormation systems and \ue000ormulated according to a range o\ue000 standard
and nonstandard metadata schemes\u2014is still \ue000ar \ue000rom a reality. Woodley
contrasts the method o\ue000 \u201c\ue000ederation\u201d by means o\ue000 the building o\ue000 union
catalogs o\ue000 digital collections by aggregating metadata records \ue000rom diverse
contributors into a single database with metasearching\u2014real-time searching
o\ue000 diverse resources that have not been aggregated but rather are searched
in situ by means o\ue000 one or more protocols. Each method requires specifc
skills and knowledge; particular procedures, protocols, and data standards;
and the appropriate technical in\ue000rastructure. Creating union resources via
physical aggregation o\ue000 metadata records or via metadata harvesting is a
good thing, but we should keep in mind that it does not necessarily solve
the Hidden Web problem enunciated by Gill. I\ue000 resources are publicly
available but users cannot reach them \ue000rom Google, instead having to fnd
the specifc search page \ue000or the particular union resource, we cannot say
that we have provided un\ue000ettered access to that resource. Woodley also
stresses the importance o\ue000 data value standards\u2014controlled vocabularies,
thesauri, lists o\ue000 terms and names, and \ue000olksonomies\u2014\ue000or enhancing end-
user access. She points out that mapping o\ue000 metadata elements alone is not
su\ue000fcient to connect all users with what they seek; the data values, that is,
the vocabularies used to populate those elements, should also be mapped.
Maureen Whalen\u2019s new chapter, \u201cRights Metadata Made
Simple,\u201d argues that the research and capture o\ue000 standards-based rights
metadata should be core activities o\ue000 memory institutions and o\ue000\ue000ers
practical, realistic options \ue000or determining and recording core rights meta-
data. I\ue000 institutions would commit the e\ue000\ue000ort and resources to \ue000ollowing
Whalen\u2019s advice, many o\ue000 the legal obstacles mentioned by Gill in his
discussion o\ue000 libraries and the Web could be surmounted.
In another new section in this edition, \u201cPractical Principles \ue000or
Metadata Creation and Maintenance,\u201d we again emphasize that institu-
tions need to change old paradigms and procedures. They need to make a
lasting commitment to creating and continually updating the various types
o\ue000 core metadata relating to their collections and the digital surrogates o\ue000
collection materials that we all seem to be in such a hurry to create.
Our slim volume concludes with a glossary and a selected bibli-
ography. The glossary is not intended to be comprehensive; rather, its
purpose is to explain the key concepts and tools discussed in this book.
The bibliography, too, is deliberately restricted to a \ue000ew relevant publi-
cations and resources. The \ue000ootnotes in each o\ue000 the chapters provide
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