Metadata. (Info Tech)
Clyde, Anne, Teacher Librarian
The term "metadata" crops up in discussions about the future of the World Wide Web, search engine rankings, digital libraries, resource quality of the Internet, and Web site design. What is metadata? Metadata is data about data. (Thanks, Anne. Thanks very much. That really makes everything clear.)
What is metadata?
Metadata stands in the same relationship to digital information resources (including Internet resources) as catalog data does to books, maps, videos and other library resources: it describes and indexes those resources in such a way that they can be located by the people who need them. There are emerging guidelines and standards for metadata on the Internet (see below), just as there are standards or authorities for library cataloging, classification and indexing (for example, MARC, AACR2, Dewey Decimal Classification, Library of Congress Classification, LC Subject Headings, Sears Subject Headings). The major difference is that while cataloging, classification and indexing are usually carried out by disinterested library professionals who are creating finding tools for library users, metadata is usually (but not always) created by the creator of the digital resource, and often with the specific aim of promoting that resource. When a librarian creates a catalog record for a book, it is usually with the aim of assisting the library user to find relevant information. When a web site developer creates metadata, it is often with the aim of achieving high search engine rankings and bringing "traffic" to a web site.
But this is not the whole story, because metadata has many different purposes, and many different applications. Although the application that is best known is for achieving high …
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Publication information: Article title: Metadata. (Info Tech). Contributors: Clyde, Anne - Author. Magazine title: Teacher Librarian. Volume: 30. Issue: 2 Publication date: December 2002. Page number: 45+. © 2008 Scarecrow Press, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group.
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