May 26, 2022

New Journal Article: “Using Metadata Actively”

The following article was recently published by the International Journal of Data Curation (IJDC).


Using Metadata Actively


Colin Bird
University of Southampton

Simon Coles
University of Southampton

Iris Garrelfs
University of the Arts, London

Tom Griffin

Magnus Hagdorn
University of Edinburgh

Graham Klyne
Nine by Nine

Mike Mineter
University of Edinburgh

Cerys Willoughby
University of Southampton


International Journal of Data Curation (IJDC)
Vol 11, No 1 (2016)


Almost all researchers collect and preserve metadata, although doing so is often seen as a burden. However, when that metadata can be, and is, used actively during an investigation or creative process, the benefits become apparent instantly. Active use can arise in various ways, several of which are being investigated by the Collaboration for Research Enhancement by Active use of Metadata (CREAM) project, which was funded by Jisc as part of their Research Data Spring initiative. The CREAM project is exploring the concept through understanding the active use of metadata by the partners in the collaboration. This paper explains what it means to use metadata actively and describes how the CREAM project characterises active use by developing use cases that involve documenting the key decision points during a process. Well-documented processes are accordingly more transparent, reproducible, and reusable.

Direct to Full Text (10 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.