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Getaneh Alemu (PhD)
October 2015
 ‘Data about data’
 Describes and locates information objects
 Provides context
 Enables the search-ability, browse-ab...
 As library grow, of information
increases, changes and users’ expectations
change:
 Contemporary standards-based metada...
Developing a
Exploring the inclusion of
approaches
Inductively identify concepts
Identify principles
Develop framework
 Standards-based metadata approaches imply an
philosophical perspective
 Web 2.0 (socially-constructed) metadata approac...
: inductively developing
concepts/principles/theoretical framework/theories
 Theory rather than theory testing
 Simultan...
 Open-ended
 Exploratory
 11 in-depth interviews
 Library as a place
 Obsolescence of OPAC
 Standards-based versus
s...
Study No.
Interviewees
Study Total Number Profession Sub-total
Study One 11
LIS MSc Students 8
LIS PhD Student 1
LIS Lectu...
Institution Number of
Interviewees
The British Library 3
Library of Congress 1
Harvard University 1
University of Portsmou...
 Reducing barriers to contribution
 Simplicity, interestingness and fun
 Re-findability
 Sense of ownership
 Own voca...
of users through
 Enables to match the growing collections with the assignment
of
 Metadata and (reflecting user
interpr...
 Granularly metadata
 Uniquely metadata
 Creating and facilitating links
 It brings
 It widens opportunities for
 Institutional and
 Facilitates metadata and
 Minimises or
 Flexible and open schemes
filtering
 Flexibility to and customise interface displays
catalogue views based on
 navigation
 From metadata to metadata ;
 From metadata to a where
augments expert-created metadata;
 From and to
( );
 From metad...
 Methodological contribution
 A and
 Contribution to LIS field/metadata
 Emerging metadata principles
 A theoretical
...
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering
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A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering

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Adopting a Constructivist Grounded Theory Method, this thesis conducted in-depth interviews with 57 purposefully selected participants, comprised of practising librarians, researchers, metadata consultants and library users. The interview data was analysed using three stages of iterative data analysis: open coding, focused coding and theoretical coding. The analysis resulted in the emergence of four Core Categories, namely, metadata Enriching, Linking, Openness and Filtering. Further integration of the Core Categories resulted in the emergence of a theory of digital library metadata; The Theory of Metadata Enriching and Filtering.
The theory stipulates that metadata that has been enriched, by melding standards-based (a priori) and socially-constructed (post-hoc) metadata, cannot be optimally utilised unless the resulting metadata is contextually and semantically linked to both internal and external information sources. Moreover, in order to exploit the full benefits of such linking, metadata must be made openly accessible, where it can be shared, re-used, mixed and matched, thus reducing metadata duplication. Ultimately, metadata that has been enriched (by linking and being made openly accessible) should be filtered for each user, via a flexible, personalised, and re-configurable interface.
The theory provides a holistic framework demonstrating the interdependence between expert curated and socially-constructed metadata, wherein the former helps to structure the latter, whilst the latter provides diversity to the former. This theory also suggests a conceptual shift from the current metadata principle of sufficiency and necessity, which has resulted in metadata simplicity, to the principle of metadata enriching where information objects are described using a multiplicity of users’ perspectives (interpretations). Central to this theory is the consideration of users as pro-active metadata creators rather than mere consumers, whilst librarians are creators of a priori metadata and experts at providing structure, granularity, and interoperability to post-hoc metadata. The theory elegantly delineates metadata functions into two: enriching (metadata content) and filtering (interface). By providing underlying principles, this theory should enable standards-agencies, librarians, and systems developers to better address the changing needs of users as well as to adapt themselves to recent technological advances.

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A theory of digital library metadata the emergence of enriching and filtering

  1. 1. Getaneh Alemu (PhD) October 2015
  2. 2.  ‘Data about data’  Describes and locates information objects  Provides context  Enables the search-ability, browse-ability, find-ability and management of information objects  “The invisible hand” that enables effective information organisation  Metadata constitutes a central part of library functions (Alemu, Stevens, Ross, & Chandler, 2012; Anderson, Delve, Pinchbeck, & Alemu, 2009; Day, 2001; Gartner, 2008; Lagoze, 2010; Nilsson, 2010; NISO, 2004; OCLC/RLG, 2001; Zeng & Qin, 2008)
  3. 3.  As library grow, of information increases, changes and users’ expectations change:  Contemporary standards-based metadata approaches fail to to adequately describe the semantic aspects of information objects  The of documents is missing (Otlet, 1934) “In Otlet’s world each user would leave an imprint, a trail, which would become part of the explicit history of each document” (Wright , 2007, p.190)  Scant use of theories/theoretical frameworks in the inclusion of socially-constructed metadata (Coyle, 2010; Coyle & Hillmann, 2007; Lagoze, 2010; Mathes, 2004; Shirky, 2005; Veltman, 2001; Weinberger, 2005, 2007; Wright, 2007) (Lehmann, 2010; Andersen & Skouvig, 2006.; Floridi, 2000; Hjorland, 2000)
  4. 4. Developing a Exploring the inclusion of approaches Inductively identify concepts Identify principles Develop framework
  5. 5.  Standards-based metadata approaches imply an philosophical perspective  Web 2.0 (socially-constructed) metadata approaches seem to follow a philosophical perspective  Cultural artefacts very often lend themselves to various and contexts Alemu, G., Stevens, B., Ross, P. (2012) Towards a conceptual framework for user-driven semantic metadata interoperability in digital libraries: A social constructivist approach. New Library World. 113 (1/2), 38-54
  6. 6. : inductively developing concepts/principles/theoretical framework/theories  Theory rather than theory testing  Simultaneous data collection and analysis  Fitting for research areas  Three approaches to grounded theory method  Glaserian (Glaser & Strauss, 1967)  Straussian (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) (Charmaz, 2006) Alemu, G., B. Stevens, P. Ross. (2012) Semantic metadata interoperability in digital libraries: a constructivist grounded theory approach. Bulletin of IEEE Technical Committee on Digital Libraries. 8(1).
  7. 7.  Open-ended  Exploratory  11 in-depth interviews  Library as a place  Obsolescence of OPAC  Standards-based versus socially-constructed metadata approaches  Sluggish adoption of Semantic Web technologies  Bridging cultural differences through metadata  Collaboration and metadata crowd sourcing  The need for theoretical foundations
  8. 8. Study No. Interviewees Study Total Number Profession Sub-total Study One 11 LIS MSc Students 8 LIS PhD Student 1 LIS Lecturers 2 Study Two 21 Librarians 10 LIS Researchers 5 LIS Lecturers 2 Metadata Consultants 4 Study Three 25 Under-graduate Students (BSC) 5 Post-graduate Students (MSc=4 & PhD=6) 10 Lecturers (other than LIS) 10 Total 57
  9. 9. Institution Number of Interviewees The British Library 3 Library of Congress 1 Harvard University 1 University of Portsmouth 3 University of Loughborough 1 Kings College London 1 University of South Australia 1 University of Bologna 1 University of Parma 1 University of Zimbabwe 1 University of North Texas 1 Queensland University of Technology 1 OCLC Online Computer Library Centre 1 University College London 1 Cloud of Data 1 2 consultants who are not affiliated to any organisation 2
  10. 10.  Reducing barriers to contribution  Simplicity, interestingness and fun  Re-findability  Sense of ownership  Own vocabularies  Altruism and reputation  Engaging with users
  11. 11. of users through  Enables to match the growing collections with the assignment of  Metadata and (reflecting user interpretations/terminologies/better conforming to user requirements) complement to the of  Metadata should be about the interface not about the
  12. 12.  Granularly metadata  Uniquely metadata  Creating and facilitating links  It brings  It widens opportunities for
  13. 13.  Institutional and  Facilitates metadata and  Minimises or  Flexible and open schemes
  14. 14. filtering  Flexibility to and customise interface displays catalogue views based on  navigation
  15. 15.  From metadata to metadata ;  From metadata to a where augments expert-created metadata;  From and to ( );  From metadata to metadata;  From metadata records to metadata ;  From a (global) OPAC interface to and user-friendly interfaces;  From to through tag clouding, metadata zeitgeist and faceted navigation.
  16. 16.  Methodological contribution  A and  Contribution to LIS field/metadata  Emerging metadata principles  A theoretical  Inclusion of the of metadata through a approach, partly addressing Otlet’s 1934 vision of contemporary metadata assumptions and principles  Better reflects the (linguistic/cultural)  It is argued that the findings well with the data; are , ‘ and interpretations but it is among other possible .

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