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.
There are many new—and very welcome—Metadata 2020 participants. Some of you may have participated since the beginning. In either case, you might find it helpful to have a little more information about who does what in the initiative, and a bit about the roles we have adopted… Clare Dean: Upholder @ClareEDean; email@example.com Things to know about me I’m the one who sends you meeting invitations and requests and who frantically types/mistypes meeting notes on calls.
Pretty much everyone directly involved with or affected by scholarly metadata (that’s all of us by the way) is as baffled by and annoyed with its current challenges as we are hopeful and adamant about its rightful place in improving research communications. So it’s rather daunting to be tasked with delivering to the community Shared Best Practice and Principles, the Metadata 2020 project group of which I am co-chair, along with Howard Ratner of CHORUS.
Action and Overlaps Each project has now had at least three meetings, and activity for each is ramping up. As it does so, several short term subgroups have emerged, and cross-project collaborations have formed. Survey P.1 ‘Researcher Communications’ and P.3 ‘Defining the Terms We Use About Metadata’ have both identified a need for a survey for researchers about their uses and needs of metadata. They will be forming a subgroup including representatives from each project to write the survey before consulting with the ‘Researchers’ Community Group to check for accuracy and relevance.
The Metadata 2020 Project Thread Metadata 2020 has recently initiated six projects that form a unified framework supporting the metadata improvement goals and aspirations of the project: Researcher Communication - Exploring ways to align efforts between communities that aim to increase the impact and consistency of communication with researchers about metadata. Metadata Recommendation and Evaluation Mappings - To converge communities and publishers towards a shared set of recommended metadata concepts with related mappings between those recommended concepts and elements in important dialects.
Summary Through discussions and additional work, Metadata 2020 project participants have now created 4-6 month project plans for intended execution between May and October 2018, and in some cases have already started to advance the work. Participants are also benefiting from a useful exchange of ideas in meetings. Thanks to everyone giving up their time and contributing their expertise to this important work. 1. Researcher Communications Led by: Carly Strasser