Authors: Karen Smith-Yoshimura, OCLC Research and Cyndi Shein, Getty Research Institute
Metadata helps users locate resources that meet their specific needs. But metadata also helps us to understand the data we find and helps us to evaluate what we should spend our time on. Traditionally, staff at libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) create metadata for the content they manage. However, social metadata—content contributed by users—is evolving as a way to both augment and recontexutalize the content and metadata created by LAMs. Many cultural heritage institutions are interested in gaining a better understanding of social metadata and also learning how to best utilize their users’ expertise to enrich their descriptive metadata and improve their users’ experiences.
In order to facilitate this, a 21-member RLG Partners Social Metadata Working Group reviewed 76 sites relevant to libraries, archives, and museums that supported such social media features as tagging, comments, reviews, images, videos, ratings, recommendations, lists, links to related articles, etc. In addition, working group members surveyed site managers, analyzed the survey results and discussed the factors that contribute to successful—and not so successful—use of social metadata. They also considered issues related to assessment, content, policies, technology, and vocabularies.
Direct to Full Text Report (174 pages; PDF)
Also Available and a Very Useful Resource:
Supplemental Spreadsheet: At a Glance: Sites that Support Social Metadata
See Also: Here’s Another Recently Released Report from OCLC Research: Single Search: The Quest for the Holy Grail