Metadata for Digital Collections, Second Edition

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

Since it was first published, LIS students and professionals everywhere have relied on Miller’s authoritative manual for clear instruction on the real-world practice of metadata design and creation. Now the author has given his text a top to bottom overhaul to bring it fully up to date, making it even easier for readers to acquire the knowledge and skills they need, whether they use the book on the job or in a classroom. By following this book’s guidance, with its inclusion of numerous practical examples that clarify common application issues and challenges, readers will

  • learn about the concept of metadata and its functions for digital collections, why it’s essential to approach metadata specifically as data for machine processing, and how metadata can work in the rapidly developing Linked Data environment;
  • know how to create high-quality resource descriptions using widely shared metadata standards, vocabularies, and elements commonly needed for digital collections;
  • become thoroughly familiarized with Dublin Core (DC) through exploration of DCMI Metadata Terms, CONTENTdm best practices, and DC as Linked Data;
  • discover what Linked Data is, how it is expressed in the Resource Description Framework (RDF), and how it works in relation to specific semantic models (typically called “ontologies”) such as BIBFRAME, comprised of properties and classes with  “domain” and “range” specifications;
  • get to know the MODS and VRA Core metadata schemes, along with recent developments related to their use in a Linked Data setting;
  • understand the nuts and bolts of designing and documenting a metadata scheme; and
  • gain knowledge of vital metadata interoperability and quality issues, including how to identify and clean inconsistent, missing, and messy metadata using innovative tools such as OpenRefine.

Complete with an updated bibliography pointing readers to essential books, articles, and web documents for deeper learning, in its new second edition this volume cements its relevance to current practitioners and students.

Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use. This book is available in e-book format for libraries and individuals through aggregators and other distributors—ask your current vendor or contact us for more information.

List of Illustrations

Chapter 1. Introduction to Metadata for Digital Collections
1.1. What Is Metadata?

1.2. What Is a Digital Collection?

1.3. What Does Metadata Do?

1.4. Types of Metadata

1.5. Metadata Standards

1.6. Creating a Digital Collection

1.7. Metadata for Digital Collections

1.8. Summary


Chapter 2. Introduction to Resource Description
2.1. Resource Description

2.2. Local Versus Standard, Shareable Element Sets

2.3. Describing Digital Versus Original Objects

2.4. Descriptive versus Administrative Metadata

2.5. Metadata as Data for Machine Processing

2.6. Metadata Elements Commonly Needed for Digital Collection Resource Description

2.7. Summary


Chapter 3. Dublin Core Metadata
3.1. Introduction to Dublin Core Metadata Elements

3.2. Simple (Unqualified) Dublin Core

3.3. Qualified Dublin Core

3.4. Creation and Use of Dublin Core Metadata

3.5. DCMI Metadata Terms

3.6. Summary


Chapter 4. Resource Description: Identification and Responsibility
4.1. Basic Resource Identification Elements

4.2. Name, Responsibility, and Intellectual Property Elements

4.3. Summary


Chapter 5. Resource Description: Content and Relationships
5.1. Resource Content and Carrier Elements

5.2. Subject Content Elements

5.3. Resource Relationship Elements

5.4. Summary


Chapter 6. Controlled Vocabularies for Improved Resource Discovery
6.1. Improving Resource Discovery

6.2. Types of Controlled Vocabularies

6.3. Using Established Vocabularies

6.4. Creating Your Own Vocabularies

6.5. Controlled Vocabularies as Linked Data

6.6. Summary


Chapter 7. XML-Encoded Metadata
7.1. XML Metadata Basics

7.2. XML Metadata Record Examples

7.3. Anatomy of an XML Metadata Record

7.4. Summary


Chapter 8. MODS: The Metadata Object Description Schema
8.1. Introduction and Overview

8.2. MODS Elements: An Overview with Examples

8.3. MODS Records

8.4. Mapping from Dublin Core to MODS

8.5. Summary


Chapter 9. VRA Core: The Visual Resources Association Core Categories
9.1. Introduction to Metadata for Objects of Visual Culture

9.2. VRA Core

9.3. Summary


Chapter 10. Metadata Interoperability, Shareability, and Quality
10.1. Interoperability

10.2. Short- and Long-Term Metadata Viability

10.3. Metadata Sharing, Harvesting, and Aggregating

10.4. OAI Metadata Harvesting

10.5. Metadata Mapping and Crosswalks

10.6. Metadata Conversion and Processing

10.7. Example of Metadata Harvesting, Processing, and Aggregating

10.8. Good-Quality and Sharable Metadata

10.9. Identifying and Remediating Metadata Quality Problems

10.10. Five Ways to Improve Your Metadata Quality and Interoperability

10.11. Summary


Chapter 11: Linked Data and Ontologies
11.1. What Are Linked Data and the Semantic Web?

11.2. Linked Data and the Resource Description Framework 

11.3. Linked Data in Action: The Web and Digital Collections

11.4. Ontologies: Models for Linked Data

11.5. Ontology Examples: DC, MODS, BIBFRAME, SKOS,

11.6. Linked Data In Practice

11.7. Summary


Chapter 12. Metadata Application Profile Design
12.1. Metadata Application Profile Design and Documentation

12.2. Metadata Application Profile Examples

12.3. Summary


Appendix: Dublin Core, MODS, and VRA Element Mappings
Acronym Glossary
About the Author

Steven Jack Miller

Steven Jack Miller is Senior Lecturer Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies. He previously worked as a university librarian cataloger and department head. He has taught courses, given numerous conference presentations and workshops, and published articles and book chapters on information organization, metadata, linked data, and cataloging.

"Thoroughly researched ... Highly recommended."
— Technical Services Quarterly

"The second edition of Metadata for Digital Collections builds on its past success and the ongoing efforts to resolve systemic metadata challenges faced throughout the 2010s, the 2020s, and into the future ... [It is] a truly current digital library metadata management reference source ... The extensive glossary, bibliography, and index [are] some of the best I have seen."
— Technicalities

"This large, comprehensive tome contains everything any librarian or library staff person needs to know related to what metadata is, what it does, current schema and functional elements, and practical suggestions for application, design, planning, and presentation of digital content and collections. The author is well versed on this topic, having taught it for two decades in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies."
— Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship

"Miller’s professional and pedagogical experiences have made him an authority on a wide range of metadata-related topics. His extensive teaching experience has also heavily influenced his approach to metadata—treating it as data instead of annotation—and it is this approach that makes his text so valuable, accessible, and applicable ... Miller’s focus on sound management practices and his practical approach makes this a must-read for anyone involved in digital collection management."
— Cartographic Perspectives

Praise for the first edition

"Metadata for Digital Collections is an extremely useful book for everyone currently or potentially involved in the creation of metadata: those with little to no experience in using non-MARC metadata, who either need to do so now or who would simply like to remain current with developments in the field; those who need a ready-reference work for a particular metadata scheme; and students of cataloging and metadata."
College & Research Libraries