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.
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.
no·men·cla·ture The devising or choosing of names for things, the body or system of names in a field. For me, it started with earthquake prediction – trying to find signals – real signals. I needed consistent long-term datasets. I needed to find changes and then figure out if they were real… Turned out that most signals were changes in how things were measured… I needed good documentation.
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: