>> The actual data (the novel) is not in the catalog (which is composed only of metadata).
>>> That's a technical limitation.
It's also a legal/commercial limitation, as well as a question of provenance.
To summarise a lot of good points made already:
" An item of metadata is a relationship that someone claims to exist between two entities."
- source: http://www.doi.org/topics/indecs/indecs_framework_2000.pdf
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Nate Vack
Sent: 13 February 2012 22:39
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Metadata
On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 4:25 PM, Genny Engel <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> You simply can't use the average library catalog to look up Author X's novel that starts with the sentence "So a string walks into a bar." The actual data (the novel) is not in the catalog (which is composed only of metadata).
That's a technical limitation. If you're Google Books (or any other fulltext index), the actual data *is* in the catalog, and data and metadata are again functionally identical.
The best working definition of metadata I've come up with is "something I have a field for in my data cataloging program."
I think it's kind of a circular issue: We know metadata and data are separate because our software and workflow require it. Software and workflows are designed to separate metadata and data because we know they're separate.