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CODE4LIB  February 2012

CODE4LIB February 2012

Subject:

Re: Metadata

From:

Suzanne Pilsk <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 10 Feb 2012 19:41:48 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (170 lines)

I have to say that the biggest thing is that there is never enough so get
use to the fact you always have to go back and adjust.

You could try to over think it and come up with use cases…
And you will potentially have spent time and money on data you are keeping
for no reason and still be missing the one element you need down the road.

Many go for minimal to meet focused reality based use cases and know they
will return to add and tweak.

Minimum: one field (identifier? Title? File name?)

And then go from there.

How helpful an I?

typed by thumbs and sent by gadget
On Feb 10, 2012 6:38 PM, "Stephen Hearn" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Expanding on Diane's "enough for what?", I see a lot of gradations
> possible in this task.
>
> Minimally, I can establish entity records for three persons, each of
> whom is assigned a unique ID:
>  John Smith, ID=123
>  John Smith, ID=456
>  John Smith, ID=789
> I decide to do this because I have three resources, each created by a
> John Smith, and judgment leads me to believe that they're all
> different people. If my identities are each linked by ID to their own
> resource, then one could argue that the above metadata is enough; but
> that takes for granted a set of additional relationships maintained on
> resource records which provide the actual differentiating metadata.
> (In its beginnings, the LC Name Authority File worked a lot like this,
> depending on access to the LC bib file for proper identification. One
> might need to look up an LC bib record to determine, say, what field
> "Smith, John" worked in, since the authority found "Study of the
> impact of ..., 1972" to be enough.)
>
> But suppose the identity records are meant to carry more of their  own
> weight. Copying the titles associated with the differentiated entities
> into their identity records as relationship information goes some way
> in this direction; but we're still depending on an implicit judgment
> by the entity record creator that these are distinct persons. A
> computer would have a hard time making this sort of determination just
> from words in titles. So maybe we bring some more metadata from our
> resource records into the entity records--date and place of
> publication, publisher, co-creator names, etc. These kinds of metadata
> might give us a bit more confidence in doing automated evaluation of
> whether two entities are different, and whether either should be
> associated with a new resource by "John Smith."
>
> But if we really want confident differentiation, we need metadata that
> varies distinctly between individuals--birth date, for instance, or
> full names (John Arthur Smith vs. John Baxter Smith), city of birth,
> etc. We've had these sorts of things in LCNAF headings for just this
> reason. Now under the influence of RDA, MARC and future entity
> description models are moving toward clearly marking these kinds of
> potentially distinguishing facts in the metadata about the entity.
> But note that while such facts may be enough for distinguishing two
> persons, they may be useless for determining whether one of them
> created a particular resource. For that, facts about each person's
> work and works may be much more useful. Those facts too are getting
> more attention in RDA and data models oriented toward faceted
> information about entities.
>
> So, while it's "enough" to have a trusted colleague's assertion that
> John Smith 123 and John Smith 456 are different persons, access to
> additional metadata about the two Smiths could bring such
> determinations within the reach of machine logic, and could support
> decisions about how each one should be related to other entities and
> to resources. OCLC's current work on VIAF, determining which
> authorities can be clustered and which shouldn't be, and past work on
> aggregating information about creators from bib data potentially to
> guide name heading assignment for additional bib records, demonstrate
> the extent to which the metadata currently in national authority files
> support these two metadata-driven tasks.
>
> Having said all that, in the absence of clearly differentiating facts
> and within a single authority system, I'd still put my faith in the
> entity description creator's judgment that this John Smith and that
> John Smith are different, as expressed in the creation of two entity
> descriptions with distinct IDs. In a well managed system, the unique
> ID is itself a crucial assertion on which all the other metadata
> depends.
>
> Stephen
>
>
> On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 4:23 PM, Diane Hillmann
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Patrick:
> >
> > I can only ask: enough for what?  If you haven't a solid idea of what you
> > want the metadata to do, it's hard to evaluate either quantity or
> quality.
> >
> > Metadata is not static--if it's not regularly evaluated, improved and
> added
> > to, it tends to lose its value and usefulness over time.
> >
> > Diane
> >
> > On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 4:27 PM, Ethan Gruber <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> >> An interface is only as useful as the metadata allows it to be, and the
> >> metadata is only as useful as the interface built to take advantage of
> it.
> >>
> >> Ethan
> >>
> >> On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 4:10 PM, David Faler <[log in to unmask]>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> > I think the answer is make sure you are able to add new elements to
> the
> >> > store later, and keep around your source data and plan to be able to
> >> > reprocess it.  Something like what XC is doing.  That way, you get to
> be
> >> > agile at the beginning and just deal with what you *know* is
> absolutely
> >> > needed, and add more when you can make a business case for it.
> >>  Especially
> >> > if you are looking to deal with MARC or ONIX data.
> >> >
> >> > On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 3:57 PM, Patrick Berry <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >> >
> >> > > So, one question I forgot to toss out at the Ask Anything session
> is:
> >> > >
> >> > > When do you know you have enough metadata?
> >> > >
> >> > > "You'll know it when you have it," isn't the response I'm looking
> for.
> >> >  So,
> >> > > I'm sure you're wondering what the context for this question is, and
> >> > > honestly there is none.  This is geared towards contentDM or DSpace
> or
> >> > > Omeka or Millennium.  I've seen groups not plan enough for
> collecting
> >> > data
> >> > > and I've seen groups that are have been planning so long they forgot
> >> what
> >> > > they were supposed to be collecting in the first place.
> >> > >
> >> > > So, I'll just throw that vague question out there and see who wants
> to
> >> > take
> >> > > a swing.
> >> > >
> >> > > Thanks,
> >> > > Pat/@pberry
> >> > >
> >> >
> >>
>
>
>
> --
> Stephen Hearn, Metadata Strategist
> Technical Services, University Libraries
> University of Minnesota
> 160 Wilson Library
> 309 19th Avenue South
> Minneapolis, MN 55455
> Ph: 612-625-2328
> Fx: 612-625-3428
>

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