Research: Free-Text Collection-Level Subject Metadata in Large-Scale Digital Libraries: A Comparative Content Analysis
Title: Free-Text Collection-Level Subject Metadata in Large-Scale Digital Libraries: A Comparative Content Analysis
By: Oksana L. Zavalina
Via: University of North Texas
This article discusses free-text collection-level subject metadata in large-scale digital libraries. Metadata is central for information organization in digital libraries. A growing number of digital libraries worldwide are now generating metadata to describe not only individual objects but entire digital collections as integral wholes. However, collection-level metadata has not yet been empirically evaluated. This paper reports results of the study that used an in-depth comparative content analysis to assess free-text collection-level subject metadata in three large-scale digital cultural heritage aggregations in the United States and Europe. As observed by this study, the emerging best practices include encoding a variety of information about a digital collection in free-text collection-level Description metadata element. This includes both subject-specific (topical, geographic and temporal coverage, and types/genres of objects in a digital collection) and non-subject-specific information: title, size, provenance, collection development, copyright, audience, navigation and functionality, language of items in a digital collection, frequency of additions, institutions that host a digital collection or contribute to it, funding sources, item creators, importance, uniqueness, and comprehensiveness of a digital collection.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.