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Metadata refers to data that describes other data (literally data about data). Metadata is designed and used to facilitate in the discovery and use of resources in digital and print library collections. Metadata is also critical in describing materials within library catalogues and vital for findability in search systems. There are three major types of designated metadata: descriptive metadata or information about the content; structural metadata which gets to the format of materials; administrative metadata which designates copyright information for items in a collection. Most library catalogues contain a lot of metadata as they contain information about a library's collection i.e., the books, journals, and electronic resources that make up the library's collections. Metadata records in the traditional library fulfill a range of functions such as allowing users to find materials, allowing users to assess their value and appropriateness and helping librarians in their management. Many of the same principles that govern description, retention and weeding apply to objects in digital and print-based libraries.
In 2013, it was announced that Jeffrey Pomerantz from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill plans to offer the very first library and information science (LIS) massive online open course (MOOC) entitled Metadata: Organizing and Discovering Information.
Three categories of metadata
Metadata is grouped into three categories:
Metadata is an increasingly central tool in the current web environment, enabling large-scale, distributed management of resources. Recent years has seen a growth in interaction between previously relatively isolated metadata communities, driven by the need for cross-domain collaboration and exchange. However, metadata standards have not been able to meet the needs of interoperability between independent standardization communities. For this reason the notion of metadata harmonization, defined as interoperability of combinations of metadata specifications, has arisen as a core issue for the future of web-based metadata. Resting at the heart of application profiles, metadata harmonization presents a little understood, but critical challenge in design of languages of description. DC-2011 will explore the conceptual and practical issues of design when the language solution calls for cross-fertilization from different metadata specifications.
Metadata standards organizations