Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Author vs. User Tagging" on Journal of Library Metadata

With the increasing application of social tagging technology in web 2.0, librarians have applied social tagging in online library catalog as an additional search entry for users. Now scientists, attorneys and technology consultants start to tag web contents as subject experts to provide such convenience. This user tagging is becoming an acceptable access tool for researchers. But what are the differences between author-supplied metadata (endo-tagging) and user- supplied metadata (exo-tagging)? An interesting article by Heather Lea Moulaison on Journal of Library Metadata, (2008, vol. 8, issue 2 p101-111, 11p) has a critical review on this issue.

Journal of Library Metadata focuses on emerging issues about all aspects of metadata applications in today's digital libraries. Haworth's Journal of Library Metadata, now published by the Taylor & Francis Group, is seeking a new editor. Any interested professionals with sufficient credentials who might like to take on this task can contact Bill Cohen, the publisher at

Monday, January 26, 2009

What Does a Metadata Librarian Do?

A metadata librarian becomes a new professional library title in recent three years. It needs to transfer traditional cataloging knowledge into digital information management with emerging technologies. Many new metadata librarians are experiencing new challenges in the digital age, especially, social libraries are becoming an emerging knowledge network. Here is the interview with Inmagic " Getting the Metadata Experience with Jin Xiu Guo".

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

International Standard Collection Identifier (ISCI)

International Standard Collection Identifier is under review now. The purpose of the document is to make various collections and fonds to be identified by a system in a systematical way. An identifier is an important metadata element, so far, there is no standard way to construct an identifier. Different entities have their own ways to create identifiers.

With the appearance of metasearch engine, an identifier has played an important role in locating information. Especially electronic resources have been exponentially increased in a recent decade, an identifier is usually generated by local practices. There is no systematical way to guide local practices to formulate an consistent identifier. Now more and more digital libraries have created digital collections including digital archives, descriptive metadata are used to describe those resources. An identifier is a key element of descriptive metadata. Today, knowledge sharing is an effective learning process. Knowledge sharing can not be alive on its own, metadata sharing and exchange inevitably accompany with knowledge sharing.

When a variety of organizations use different local identifiers, the metasearch engine has to do duplicate searching because of irregular formation of the identifiers. This irregularity greatly reduces search engine efficiency. To increase search effectiveness, we need to build standard identifiers for collections and fonds, to facilitate global metadata exchange. The proposed standard way is:

ISIL:Collection identifier string

ISIL is the identifier for the organization, the collection identifier may contain up to 16 characters.

e.g. FI-Ht:Up Helsinki University Theology Library, Psychology of religion collection. (example from ISO/CD 27730)

If ISCI becomes a standard, it will greatly reduce duplicate detection of a search engine, users will be able to identify collections and fonds through ISCI.