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.