I was somewhat confused about METS and what it is/does, but then I read this article “An Introduction to Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS)“. For me, the best parts of the article are the examples of METS documents that the author has given.
These examples make METS seem real to me, that is some actual thing people use, rather than something people just randomly write about.
So slowly but surely I am getting a better understanding of this metadata stuff.
I found the article “Developing a metadata strategy” to be a helpful read in spelling out how to create a strategy for using metadata. The author discusses making a road map for implementing metadata. Each step is detailed and coherent.
- Pick out a primary schema to use. Other schemas can be used as extensions to the main one. (the application profile)
- Figure out components of the schema: data elements; rules to apply to data elements; attributes to each data element; and data values
- Document the application profile so it can be shared.
- Figure out where to store the metadata elements (relational database, XML, etc)
The article is somewhat of a long read, but included lots of information I found helpful. Reading the part about application profiles certainly gave me a better picture of what they are.
The article called “Metadata Principles and Practicalities” further discusses some topics I have brought up in previous posts.
First, the cultural aspect of having objects on the web. The article notes that metadata needs to be able to describe accurately such things like the way dates are represented in different calenders, name order, cultural connotations of icons, the appropriate character set and so on. The web is rather global now, so when designing and ascribing metadata, cultural contexts need to be kept in mind to serve different populations.
Second, I have a definition for application profiles!
An application profile is an assemblage of metadata elements selected from one or more metadata schemas and combined in a compound schema.
An application profile is a package for the metadata apparently. The application profiles are able to increase interoperability because they don’t confine the librarian into using only one metadata standard. This allows for greater flexibility in describing an item.
What I understood from the article “Application Profiles: mixing and matching metadata schemas” was this:
When cataloging an item, librarians (implementers) will add different elements of metadata schemas to their record if the primary metadata schema does not allow the item to be described/cataloged properly. The librarians (implementers) are mixing and matching useful metadata elements to create their records.
This falls under the whole “all cataloging is local” idea.
I am still unsure what is meant by “application profile” however. Any thoughts?
David Bearman writes a review of the book Google and the Myth of Universal Knowledge: A view from Europe by French librarian Jean-Noël Jeanneney. He notes five issues Jeanneney discusses about Google:
- Google seems to be mainly digitizing American or English books
- The scanned images are of extremely bad quality and cultural works are not properly indexed.
- The results rankings does not reflect how scholars from other cultures would rank cultural works
- Google is a private company, and Jeanneney feels librarians should be concerned that Google has such a hold over so many digital items (and thus access to those items)
- Notions of copyright are a bit different in Europe, and Google has not win many fans with its approach to copyright (the article mentions the lawsuit brought against Google in 2005 over their digitization project)
I liked reading this article about how European librarians view Google. Google, while it seems to be everywhere, is still an American company with an American viewpoint. They are bound to clash with other cultures.
And it is always good to be reminded that Google is in it for the $$$.
I’ve been reading the blog posts on personal digital archiving (the class calendar links to part 7, but part 1-6 are good reads too) and couldn’t help but notice this line in part 2: “Many people, myself included, also print out a copy of important files as this one. “Non-digital” format is still the most stable.” The author writes on digital storage options, on file formats, on tagging and cataloging, all within the digital framework and yet print form is still the most stable way to preserve files! say what now?
Some thoughts on this:
- rapid changes in technology produces digital formats which keep getting upstaged by new ones = digital formats don’t hold up over the long term
- low confidence towards digital preservation efforts
- the shift from print to digital is probably going to take some time
See this blog post from a classmate for a wake-up call!
The school media candidate for SLIS faculty that gave her presentation, Kyungwon Koh, discussed her research on teenagers’ use of digital media. One point that I found interesting, especially in light of this article, was that the teenagers interviewed recognized that the information found on wikis might not be accurate because of the open manner in which anyone could add information. The teenagers realized the need to consult further sources of information Obviously asking a librarian for help would be a great way to find further sources.
Here Pete Coco’s article on Google and information literacy discusses a similar topic. Coco’s argument is that librarians should not stop teaching students (or patrons) information literacy just because Google makes searching easy. The author notes that Google, as a commercial search tool, has a different purpose than that of a library search tool and that the convenience of Google searching doesn’t always lead to good results. He promotes information literacy instruction to teach the students not only the purpose of a library search tool but also how to use said tool to find better and more relevant results.
When listening to Dr. Koh’s presentation, I didn’t think of the link between this finding of hers and information literacy until I read the blog post on convenience and Google. Searching Google is easy yes, but doesn’t always bring up good results. It is encouraging that the teenagers in the study recognized this pitfall of searching (at least in the context of wikis). Teaching patrons how to search and find better results is certainly something librarians should promote.
I was reading this article on interoperability and the Pathways Infrastructure the authors were working on. Access is the important issue here where the digital objects are obtained and harvested by the repository, and then put in the repository where the surrogate is able to be viewed/accessed. While reading the article, I began wondering about copyright and how it is dealt with. Is there even an issue of copyright in this situation? With the specter of SOPA hanging around, copyright laws and issues seem rather pertinent.
At the start of this class, my thoughts on metadata centered on digital objects and tagging them. I knew about Dublin Core, as I use that on the digital archives project I am working on. I wasn’t prepared for the complexity of metadata that we are now learning about. (what is with all these acronyms?!) But I am glad I am exposed to this, because I feel that metadata is increasingly becoming a major issue librarians will have to work with. With so many objects online or digital now, metadata is here to stay. I think this class will help me realize the prominence of emerging technologies in a way that I didn’t want to think about before.
Now if I can just keep all those acronyms straight I’ll be good.