Metadata 2020 was established in 2017 with a bold mission to facilitate the collaboration of all involved in scholarly communications to consistently improve metadata to enhance discoverability, encourage new services, and create efficiencies, with the ultimate goal of accelerating scholarly research. As our name implies, we also scheduled a 2020 deadline for our work. As we consider our progress at the project midpoint, we have a full journey to be proud of.
2018 was quite a year: Metadata 2020 was on the agenda at 17 conferences, workshops and meetings; community groups formed into six cross-stakeholder projects; the projects got to worked to better understand metadata challenges; and we held two end-of-year-one in-person workshops with 50 people in New York and London to share things out and discuss the 2019 agenda. Over 200 people participated in some way, whether through signing up for the mailing list, chatting on Slack, or attending online meetings and webinars.
Embracing the enormity of metadata challenges in Scholarly Communications through Community Group discussions. Metadata 2020 has always had big goals. From the earliest conversations between Metadata 2020 Director Ginny Hendricks and the Advisory Group she quickly convened, it was clear that there were a number of different directions a collaborative effort could take to improve metadata scholarly communications, the possibilities were seemingly endless. How, then, to narrow the scope and organize efforts?
Following the launch of Metadata 2020 at the beginning of September, we have been delighted to receive many enquiries from individuals across scholarly communications who are eager to participate in the collaboration. The support is also clear through Twitter conersations. Thank you to all of you who have offered your help! As a result of the interest received, we have been able to start to form a variety of Community Groups for Publishers, Librarians, Researchers, Funders, Service Providers/Platforms and Tools, and Data Publishers/Repositories.
Writing a blog post ‘about metadata’ is like calling a paramecium ‘a hungry slipper with fringe’ - you’re bound to miss out on a lot of detail. Metadata is the thing I got my library degree for, mostly because I think metadata is fascinating, but also because I loathed the reference desk and wanted regular hours. However, as my career went on (and on), I found the issues around metadata to be increasing as the supposed ease of discovery through electronic means became more universal.
I’ve been thinking and talking about Metadata 2020 for well over a year now, and we’ve run lots of workshops and met several times with a team of advisors, so this is a bit of a weird post to write. (And a bit nerve-wracking now we’re making it official - there’s even a news release about the launch!) But here we are with three or four events under our belts and more planned, numerous interviews giving clear insights, dozens of supporters with plans for thousands, and some very ambitious goals: