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Named a 2017 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

Metadata remains the solution for describing the explosively growing, complex world of digital information, and continues to be of paramount importance for information professionals. Providing a solid grounding in the variety and interrelationships among different metadata types, Zeng and Qin's thorough revision of their benchmark text offers a comprehensive look at the metadata schemas that exist in the world of library and information science and beyond, as well as the contexts in which they operate. Cementing its value as both an LIS text and a handy reference for professionals already in the field, this book

  • lays out the fundamentals of metadata, including principles of metadata, structures of metadata vocabularies, and metadata descriptions;
  • surveys metadata standards and their applications in distinct domains and for various communities of metadata practice;
  • examines metadata building blocks, from modeling to defining properties, and from designing application profiles to implementing value vocabularies;
  • describes important concepts as resource identification, metadata as linked data, consumption of metadata, interoperability, and quality measurement; and
  • offers an updated glossary to help readers navigate metadata's complex terms in easy-to-understand definitions.

An online resource of web extras, packed with exercises, quizzes, and links to additional materials, completes this definitive primer on metadata.

Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use.

List of Illustrations


Part I: Fundamentals of Metadata

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1    Background
1.2    Definitions
1.3    A Brief History
1.4    Types and Functions
1.5    Standards
1.6    Principles
1.7    Examples of Metadata Descriptions

Suggested Readings

Chapter 2: Understanding Metadata Vocabularies

2.1    Metadata Element Sets

2.1.1    Components and Structures—An Overview
2.1.2    Flat Structure
2.1.3    Nested Structure

2.2    Application Profiles

2.2.1    The Concept of Application Profile
2.2.2    Examples of APs Consisting of Elements Drawn from Other Schemas
2.2.3    Sources of Reusable Elements

2.3    Ontologies as Metadata Vocabularies

2.3.1    Background
2.3.2    Modular Structure
2.3.3    Friend of a Friend (FOAF)

2.4    RDF Vocabularies for Metadata Terms

2.4.1    An Introduction to RDF (Resource Description Framework)
2.4.2    DCMI Metadata Terms
2.4.3    Metadata Descriptions: From "Records" to "Statements"

Suggested Readings

Chapter 3: Creating Metadata Descriptions

3.1     Requirements for Metadata
3.2    Basic Unit of Metadata

3.2.1    Metadata Statement, Description, and Description Set
3.2.2    Relationships between Resources

3.3    Knowing the Difference
3.4    Levels of Granularity

3.4.1    Describing Individual Items that Constitute a Collection: Item-level Description
3.4.2    Describing the Entirety of a Collection: Collection-Level Description
3.4.3    Dataset Level Metadata
3.4.4    Resource Decomposition

3.5    Metadata Sources

3.5.1    Manual Generation of Metadata
3.5.2    Automatic Generation of Metadata
3.5.3    Combination of Manual and Automatic Methods
3.5.4    Harvested Metadata
3.5.5    Converted Metadata
3.5.6    User-Contributed Metadata through Social Media

3.6    Metadata Storage

3.6.1    Internal Storage
3.6.2    External Storage

3.7    Expressing Metadata

3.7.1    HTML
3.7.2     XML
3.7.3     RDF/XML and Other RDF Serialization Formats

3.8 Linkage, Wrapper, Display, and Parallel Metadata

3.8.1     Linking between Descriptions for Different Resources
3.8.2     Wrapping
3.8.3     Encoding for Display
3.8.4     Encoding for Bilingual Metadata Statements

3.9 Combining Metadata Descriptions and Linking Resources

3.9.1     METS
3.9.2     RDF/XML
3.9.3     Aggregation

Suggested Readings
Advanced Readings


Part II: Metadata Vocabulary Building Blocks

Chapter 4: Metadata Structures and Semantics

4.1     Modeling for Metadata

4.1.1     Entity-Relationship Modeling
4.1.2     Ontological Modeling
4.1.3     Encapsulated and Modularized Approach

4.2     Enumerating Metadata Terms

4.2.1     Communicating about the Functional Requirements
4.2.2     Identifying Desired Elements

4.3     Element Set Specification

4.3.1     Basic Components
4.3.2     Presentation
4.3.3     Principles for an Element Set to Follow
4.3.4     Methodologies for Working from an Existing Element Set
4.3.5     Testing the Element Set

4.4     Value Spaces and Value Vocabularies

4.4.1     Value Spaces That Should Follow Standardized Syntax Encoding Rules
4.4.2     Value Spaces That Require Standardized Vocabulary Encoding Schemes
4.4.3     Value Spaces That Require Predefined Lists of Terms

4.5     Crosswalks

4.5.1 Methods Used in Crosswalking
4.5.2 Aligning Elements with Indicators of Matching Degrees

4.6 Best Practice Guides and Other Content Guidelines

4.6.1     Best Practice Guides
4.6.2     Standard-Specific Guidelines
4.6.3     Community-Oriented Best Practice Guides
4.6.4     Data Content Standards

4.7.     Conclusion

Suggested Readings

Chapter 5: Metadata Schemas

5.1     Background
5.2     Resource Identification
5.3     Namespaces
5.4     Schema Encoding

5.4.1     Relational Schema
5.4.2     XML Schema
5.4.3    Schema Encoding in Mixed Namespaces

5.5     Encoding Examples of Metadata Standards

5.5.1     Dublin Core Encoding Schemas
5.5.2     EAD 2002 XML Schema
5.5.3     DLESE Metadata Framework XML Schemas

5.6     Summary

Suggested Readings


Part III: Metadata Services

Chapter 6: Metadata Services

6.1    Metadata Services as an Infrastructure
6.2     Metadata Registries

6.2.1     Functional Requirements
6.2.2     Types
6.2.3     Essential Components

6.3     Metadata Repositories

6.3.2     Metadata Harvesting Model
6.3.3     OAI-PMH Commands
6.3.4     Support for Multiple Description Formats in OAI-PMH

6.4     Metadata as Linked Data

6.4.1     Two Roles of LAMs
6.4.2     Using Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS) as the Connectors of Linked Datasets
6.4.3     Metadata in Information Silos
6.4.4     Factors Impacting Metadata Linkability

6.5     Ensuring Optimal Metadata Discovery and Increasing Findability

6.5.1     Metadata Retrieval
6.5.2     Metadata Exposure Methods

6.6     Summary

Suggested Readings

Chapter 7: Metadata Quality Measurement and Improvement

7.1     Quality of Metadata
7.2     Functional Requirements of Metadata Systems
7.3     Quality Measurement with Different Granularities
7.4     Data Quality Measurement Indicators: CCCD

7.4.1     Completeness
7.4.2     Correctness
7.4.3     Consistency
7.4.4     Duplication Analysis

7.5     Metadata Evaluation
7.6     Enhancing Quality of Metadata
7.7     Entity-Level Quality for Reusable Metadata

Suggested Readings

Chapter 8: Achieving Interoperability

8.1     Definitions
8.2     Metadata Decisions at Different Stages of a Digital Library Project
8.3     Achieving Interoperability at the Schema Level

8.3.1     Derivation
8.3.2     Application Profiles (APs)
8.3.3     Crosswalks
8.3.4     Frameworks
8.3.5     Metadata Registries

8.4.     Achieving Interoperability at the Record Level

8.4.1     Conversion of Metadata Records
8.4.2     Data Reuse and Integration

8.5     Achieving Interoperability at the Metadata Repository Level

8.5.1     Metadata Repositories Based on the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Protocol
8.5.2     Metadata Repositories Supporting Multiple Formats without Record Conversion
8.5.3     Aggregation and Enriched Metadata Records in a Repository
8.5.4     Element-Based and Value-Based Crosswalking Services
8.5.5     Value-Based Mapping for Cross-Database Searching
8.5.6     Value-Based Co-Occurrence Mapping

8.6     Alignment Approaches Used for Linked Data

8.6.1     The Need for Alignment of Metadata Vocabularies
8.6.2     Alignment at Class Level
8.6.3     Alignment at Property Level
8.6.4     Mapping Degrees

8.7.     Conclusion

Suggested Readings


Part IV: Metadata Outlook in Research

Chapter 9: Metadata Research Landscape

9.1     Overview
9.2     Research in Metadata Architecture
9.3     Research in Metadata Modeling
9.4     Research in Metadata Semantics
9.5     Metadata and Data-Driven X
9.6     Metadata Research Landscape: Conclusions

Suggested Readings


Part V: Metadata Standards

Chapter 10: Current Standards

10.1 Metadata for General Purposes

10.1.1     Dublin Core (DC)
10.1.2     MODS and the MARC Family

10.2     Metadata for Cultural Objects and Visual Resources

10.2.1     Introduction to CDWA
10.2.2     Important Concepts
10.2.3     The Element Sets of CCO, CDWA Lite, LIDO, and VRA Core
10.2.4     Object ID Checklist
10.2.5     Value Vocabularies

10.3     Metadata for Research Data

10.3.1 Overview
10.3.2     Metadata Standards for Geospatial Data
10.3.3     Metadata Standards for Biodiversity and Ecology Data
10.3.4     Metadata for Social Sciences Research Data
10.3.5     Other Developments

10.4     Metadata for Archives

10.4.1     Background
10.4.2     Finding Aid Examples
10.4.3     EAD 2002 Record at a Glance
10.4.4     EAC-CPF
10.4.5     Other Related Standards
10.4.6    EAD3

10.5     Rights Management Metadata

10.5.1     Rights Metadata Elements for User-Oriented Rights Information
10.5.2     Metadata Activities of Rights-Holder Communities
10.5.3     Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL)

10.6     Metadata for Publishing and Press Communications

10.6.1     ONIX (ONline Information Exchange)
10.6.2     EPUB
10.6.3     IPTC Metadata Standards

10.7     Metadata for Multimedia Objects

10.7.1     The MPEG standards
10.7.2     MPEG-7
10.7.3     ID3v2
10.7.4     PBCore, the Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary

10.8     Preservation and Provenance Metadata

10.8.1     Digital Preservation Metadata Standards
10.8.2     OAIS Reference Framework
10.8.3     Preservation Metadata: Implementation Strategies (PREMIS)
10.8.4     PROV for Provenance Interchange on the Web
10.8.5     DCMI Metadata Terms for Provenance

10.9     Metadata Describing Agents

10.9.1     vCard
10.9.2     FOAF (Friend of a Friend)

Suggested Readings

About the Authors


Marcia Lei Zeng

Marcia Lei Zeng is Professor of Information Science at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, where she teaches knowledge organization systems (KOS), metadata, Linked Data, and cultural heritage informatics. Her primary research interests include KOS, Linked Data, metadata, smart data and big data, database quality control, semantic technologies, and digital humanities. Her scholarly publications consist of more than 100 papers and six books, as well as over 200 national and international conference presentations, invited lectures, and keynote speeches. Her research projects have received funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), OCLC, Ohio Board of Regents, Fulbright, and other esteemed academic and scientific foundations. Dr. Zeng has chaired or served on numerous committees, working groups, and executive boards for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Special Libraries Association (SLA), Association of Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), the US National Information Standards Organization (NISO), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI), International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO), and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Dr. Zeng holds a PhD from the School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Jian Qin

Jian Qin is Professor at the School of Information Studies, Syracuse University. Recipent of the 2020 LITA/OCLC Kilgour Research Award, her research interest areas include metadata, knowledge modeling and organization, ontologies, and scientific communication. Her research was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health/National Center for General Medical Science, Sloan Foundation/Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), and Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).She has published widely in scholarly journals and presented her research at national and international conferences, is the co-author of the book Metadata, and co-editor for several special journal issues on knowledge discovery in databases and knowledge representation. She has served on numerous committees in the Association of Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), DCMI, and other professional communities and is a Distinguished Member of ASIS&T. She holds a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Western University and a PhD from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"The second edition of this book represents much more than a serviceable update to the first edition, published in 2008. Zeng (Kent State Univ.) and Qin (Syracuse Univ.) have significantly revised their thinking about metadata construction, application, usability, and sustainability. As a result, the current edition of this seminal resource represents a radical and necessary shift to a richer, more comprehensive analysis of metadata and its uses ... A core reference work for all professionals and advanced students interested in the subject of metadata."

"This is an impressive, well-written textbook for readers studying metadata. In a field that is steadily growing and changing, readers must keep abreast of the new material that appears in this edition, and not rely solely on the previous edition to inform their thinking. It is by no means an easy transition, though the authors have tried hard to include the relevant background that puts today's ideas in context. They have succeeded in making a complex subject understandable as well as anticipating future developments."
— Technicalities