The stage is set. Items are ready to be described by metadata, or have some metadata to be augmented or used. But who are the cast of players that interact with metadata to ensure its usefulness? Our project, Incentives for Improving Metadata Quality, led by Fiona Counsell, has been focused on highlighting the applications and value of metadata for all parts of the community. In order to tell these stories, the project team considered the key metadata players and how to best describe them.
Today we continue our communication of Metadata 2020 outputs as outlined in an earlier post. Since 2018, our work has been primarily divided into six project groups; as co-chairs of the Researcher Communications project, we are happy to share an update on our work. This project group is been charged with increasing our understanding of the attitudes and values that individuals have about metadata in scholarly outputs in order to help inform how we talk about metadata to this audience.
Many of you are probably aware that Metadata 2020 has a project group working on Best Practices and Principles. After many months of collaboration, we are happy to share a draft of the Principles for community input. These aspirational Metadata 2020 Principles were designed to encompass the needs of our entire community while ensuring thoughtful, purposeful, and reusable metadata resources. They advocate for all of us to be good metadata citizens.
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.
Full disclosure: I am not a metadata expert. What I am is a branding and marketing consultant specialising in scholarly communications. I’ve been working in the industry since 1999 and in that time I’ve done a whole lot of research with pretty much every type of audience you can imagine. Hundreds of in-depth interviews and dozens of focus groups later, I know a thing or two about publishers, librarians, researchers, funders and other stakeholders in the scholarly ecosystem.