Repository administrators get to grips with metadata

13th March 2008, by

The second RSP focussed event concentrating on the theme of metadata was held at the University of Wolverhampton on the 11 th March 2008. This was a revised repeat of a popular session on metadata which had been provided by the RSP in Wales in late 2007. Metadata proved once again to be a hot topic for repository managers and the session was fully booked a short time after the initial details were released.

"Great event!"

The day kicked off with three presentations on various aspects of metadata to offer the participants a theoretical grounding and basic introduction to the topic. First up was an introduction to metadata talk given by Ann Chapman of the Policy and Advice Team at UKOLN. Ann's talk included information about what metadata is all about and some simple case studies from the Library world which explored the use of metadata in practice. The second session of the day was a more in depth look at metadata in repositories given by Jackie Knowles from the RSP. This talk included an in depth look at the Dublin Core metadata standard and application profiles along with some top tips and pointers for dealing with metadata in repositories. The final talk of the morning session was given by Stuart Lewis from the RSP and explored the topic of metadata harvesting. This look at how repository services and search engines collect and utilise the metadata we store in our repositories gave the participants an insight into how the visibility of content can be improved by having good quality and consistent metadata. Copies of all the slides from these three talks are now available.

"Very useful day - I enjoyed it"

Following a very welcome break where everyone took the opportunity to top up their sugar and caffeine levels the participants then took part in one of our ever popular speed networking sessions. These quick fire conversations allowed the participants to officially meet with all the other delegates in the room and find out about repository developments in the wider community.

"I found the workshop very useful and practical"

Following a delicious buffet lunch the afternoon session was dedicated to completing a metadata practical workshop. Working in groups the attendees were asked to create paper based metadata records for typical repository content (journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, thesis, images etc.). Using new knowledge gained from the morning sessions, along with their own knowledge of metadata or cataloguing from the workplace, the delegates had to think about what metadata needs to be recorded for these items, how each field they chose would map to the Dublin Core standard and what issues and problems arose from their considerations. Lots of lively debates were undertaken by the groups, the following quotes picked up by the facilitators offer a flavour of some of the issues people were getting to grips with:

"We need to stop thinking like cataloguers and start thinking like normal people"

"You *check* the metadata?"

"Remove all sharp objects before discussing metadata"

"Do not deposit by committee"

As the day proved once again to be very popular the RSP has plans to repeat the event and offer more metadata training for repository administrators at some point in the future. Anyone interesting in learning more should contact RSP via support@rsp.ac.uk .

Contact

For further information contact RSP.

Alternatively, email RSP Support or phone 0845 257 6860.