For those of you who keep a close eye on digital publishing, you may have seen the recent Digital Book World article that states recent findings by the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) show that “metadata in publishing is a mess…some 95% of publishers reporting changes to the metadata they send out into the supply chain.”
For those of us who have had professional metadata training, we’re probably not overly surprised, considering that some metadata attributions are great, others questionable. I’m curious as to why it’s being changed after it leaves the publisher. That creates questions for me:
- Are the terms manually-applied or is the system automated?
- Are they [the publishers or the publishing house staff] applying not-so-apt terms because they aren’t metadata professionals? OR
- Are the terms changed because of who the end-users are and how they search? (Either it’s end-user applied content, or the vendor/library changes the terms because they know their end-user audience.)
Working in a library and being familiar with the end product, which has already had the metadata applied, I’m relatively new to the digital publishing world and all its machinations. I look forward to finding out the answers to the above questions (which are likely basic knowledge for insiders).
Note: Metadata is the findability backbone in the newly-launched Public Digital Library of America..
I haven’t seen any code, but I’m guessing they used Dublin Core. I do know that being employed in the capacity of a PDL Metadata Librarian would be a dream job for any of us who love working with metadata/increasing findability.