Metadata for Information Management and Retrieval, 2nd edition

Jan 2018 | 288pp

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Metadata for Information Management and Retrieval, 2nd edition
Understanding metadata and its use

David Haynes

This new and updated second edition of a classic text provides a thought provoking introduction to metadata for all library and information students and professionals.

Metadata for Information Management and Retrieval has been fully revised to bring it up to date with new technologies and standards. It builds on the concept of metadata through an exploration of its purposes and uses as well as considering the main aspects of metadata management. This new edition, containing new chapters on ‘Very Large Data Collections’ and the ‘Politics and Ethics of Metadata’, assesses the current theory and practice of metadata and examines key developments in terms of both policy and technology.

Coverage includes:

  • defining, describing and expressing metadata
  • data modelling
  • metadata and information retrieval
  • big data, linked data, and social media
  • research data collections and open data repositories
  • metadata in information governance: compliance, risk and information security
  • managing intellectual property rights
  • the politics of metadata: ethics, power and money.

This book is essential reading for library and information students at undergraduate and postgraduate level and will also be useful reading for LIS professionals looking for an accessible introduction to metadata.

List of figures and tables              




1. Introduction 
Why metadata?
Fundamental principles of metadata
Purposes of metadata
Why is metadata important?
Organisation of the book

2. Defining, describing and expressing metadata 
Defining metadata
XML schemas
Databases of metadata
Examples of metadata in use

3. Data modelling
Metadata models
Unified Modelling Language (UML)
Resource Description Framework (RDF)
Dublin Core
The Library Reference Model (LRM) and the development of RDA
ABC ontology and the semantic web
Indecs – Modelling book trade data
OAIS – Online exchange of data

4. Metadata Standards      
The nature of metadata standards
About standards
Dublin Core – a general-purpose standard
Metadata standards in library and information work
Social media
Non-textual materials
Complex objects


5. Resource identification and description (Purpose 1)     
How do you identify a resource?
RFIDs and identification
Describing resources
Descriptive metadata

6. Retrieving information (Purpose 2)       
The role of metadata in information retrieval
Information theory
Types of information retrieval
Evaluating retrieval performance
Retrieval on the internet
Subject indexing and retrieval
Metadata and computational models of retrieval

7. Managing information resources (Purpose 3)   
Information lifecycles
Create or ingest
Preserve and store
Distribute and use
Review and dispose

8. Managing intellectual property rights (Purpose 4)          
Rights management

9. Supporting e-commerce and e-government (Purpose 5)
Electronic transactions
Online behavioural advertising
Indecs and ONIX
Publishing and the book trade

10. Information governance (Purpose 6)
Governance and risk
Information governance
Compliance (freedom of information and data protection)
E-discovery (legal admissibility)
Information risk, information security and disaster recovery
Sectoral compliance


11. Managing metadata      
Metadata is an information resource
Workflow and metadata lifecycle
Project approach
Application profiles
Interoperability of metadata
Quality considerations
Metadata security

12. Taxonomies and encoding schemes      
Role of taxonomies in metadata
Encoding and maintenance of controlled vocabularies
Thesauri and taxonomies
Content rules – authority files
Social tagging and folksonomies

13. Very large data collections         
The move towards big data
What is big data?
The role of linked data in open data repositories
Data in an organisational context
Social media, web transactions and online behavioural advertising
Research data collections

14. Politics and ethics of metadata
Re-examining the purposes of metadata
Managing metadata itself


'This book is recommended for students in library science and knowledge management programs for librarians and information professionals who want a concise introduction to what metadata is and the variety of uses to which it can be applied.'
Joseph Dudley, Technical Services Quarterly
'The main focus of the book is on the context of museums, libraries, and archives. The exhaustive content will be fruitful and informative for researchers, publishers, cataloguers, and computer professionals who are interested in metadata usage for information retrieval, record management, and developing applications through metadata standards. It covers a range from basic topics to applied discussions. The book tries to explore various viewpoints related to the roles and usages of metadata in the context of different research trends like social media, big data, and linked data. Moreover, it is also useful for students new to the topic or just seeking a better understanding of metadata. It is highly recommended to be used as a tutorial on metadata.'
— Elaheh Hosseini, Department of Information Science & Knowledge Studies and Amir Ghaebi, Dean of the Faculty of Psychology & Educational Sciences, Alzahra University, Iran, INFORMATION RESEARCH
'It is as rigorous as before. It is also rewarding as a reference text for an information and knowledge management professional like myself with an enduring interest in the application of “cat and class” principles, as I expect it will be for the most scientific of metadata specialists. I can imagine the sense of professional growth information professionals will feel by giving this book the effort it deserves.'
— Dion Lindsay, Principal Consultant and Managing Director, Real Knowledge Management, k&im REFER

'...the work effectively explains the term ”metadata,” is good at showing the broad range of activities where metadata serves a key role, and provides researchers with a useful guide to work done to date. Recommended...Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.'

'Metadata for Information Management and Retrieval is essential reading for library and information students at undergraduate and postgraduate level and will also be useful reading for LIS professionals looking for an accessible introduction to metadata.' 
— Midwest Book Review

'The book is an informative resource for those who are new to metadata and want a broad, general overview of its current standards, purposes, contexts and issues.'
— Diane Pennington, University of Strathclyde, Journal of Librarianship and Information Science

‘Metadata has evolved from being a specialist interest to become a mainstream topic of relevance to anyone concerned with accurate and efficient information management. David Haynes has produced a clear, comprehensive and timely overview of how metadata shapes our digital age, why it’s a key organisational asset and how its value can be released through the use of key standards and technologies.’
Neil Wilson, Head, Collection Metadata, The British Library

'David Haynes’ Metadata for Information Management and Retrieval provides an excellent overview that covers all of the main issues relating to metadata and controlled vocabularies. Haynes deals with key concepts such as resource description and information retrieval in clear, practical terms, with real-life examples.  The section on the politics and ethics of metadata is timely and thought-provoking. This book is a valuable resource for both students and information professionals in the age of digital libraries and big data.'
— Murtha Baca, PhD, Editor, Introduction to Metadata

'METADATA IN ALL ITS ASPECTS. Metadata is one of those buzzwords closely associated with digital content. However, like many other catchy terms used for electronic resources, everyone talks about metadata but few understand exactly what it means! In fact, and I believe this is the reason why metadata still remains a difficult concept to be fully grasped, most of the literature published hitherto on the theme revolves around two aspects of metadata: its technical properties and existing standards – without making a clear point about the history, use, importance and impact of metadata in the management of digital collections.

This second and timely expanded edition of Metadata for Information Management and Retrieval covers, in a very accessible and straightforward language, all the fundamental points which explain why metadata is so relevant in today's electronic environment. By approaching the theme from different although complementary angles, Dr. Haynes’ book  makes the concept of metadata comprehensible to everyone, shedding a new light on the management and curation of digital objects. This book is an indispensable guide to be placed on our shelves!'
— Dr Aquiles Brayner, Digital Curator

'This is the second edition of a pioneering work originally published in 2004. It is intended as a tutorial (rather than a how-to do book) on metadata. Its basic strength is its clarity and its sound theoretical considerations based on a deep knowledge of the relevant literature combined with a comprehensive knowledge about the application of metadata in different environments.

The author does not find that the definition of metadata as ‘data about data’ sufficient. He argues that to understand this new concept it is necessary to know about how informative objects or documents have been described and catalogued by the different communities that have developed specific systems and processes for this purpose. The word ‘data’ in ‘metadata’ is widely interpreted as information, information resource or information containing entity. This allows inclusion of documentary materials in different formats and on different media.

A basic view underlying this book is that metadata can only be defined and understood by its purposes or uses. This corresponds with a view that I have put forward in several publications: that the pragmatic approach to knowledge organization is the most important. It may sound trivial, but still this perspective has not broadly been understood and applied.   

The book devotes 6 chapters to 6 different purposes of metadata. With regards to information retrieval it is argued that "metadata has a key role to play in high-quality information retrieval and is particularly important in clearly defined domains. It also plays a key role in providing users with options for searching on different attributes and for putting the search queries into context."

The book contains fine introductions to metadata modelling, models and standards and contains 4 chapters on metadata management including ‘big data’ and a discussion of political and ethical issues. It has a valuable reference list, including references to many standards.  

David Haynes’ book presents a highly qualified and useful introduction to metadata and deserves to be used as a text in courses at iSchools and by professionals working in museums, libraries, archives, publishing houses and other contexts.'
— Birger Hjørland, Professor of Knowledge Organization, Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen


Review of the previous edition:

'...a very sound introduction to current metadata concepts for librarians and information workers alike. There is no doubt that it is already a key text on Library and Information Science courses and will remain so for many years.'
— Marieke Guy, Ariadne

David Haynes PhD MBCS FCLIP conducts research into Privacy and Metadata at the Department of Library and Information Science at City, University of London. He is also an Honorary Tutor at the Centre for Archives and Information Studies (CAIS) at the University of Dundee where he specialises in Metadata and Taxonomies. He has been involved in library and information consultancy and research for more than 35 years during which time he has worked on information retrieval, information policy and information governance issues, latterly specialising in privacy and data protection. He is Chair of the UK Chapter of ISKO, the International Society for Knowledge Organization.

PART I: Metadata concepts

Part I introduces the concepts that underpin metadata, starting with an historical perspective.

In Chapter 1 some examples of metadata that people come across in their daily life are demonstrated along with some alternative views of metadata and how it might be categorised. This chapter defines the scope of this book as considering metadata in the context of document description.

Chapter 2 looks at mark-up languages and the development of schemas as a way of representing metadata standards. It also highlights the connection between metadata and cataloguing.

Chapter 3 looks at different ways of modelling data with specific reference to the Resource Description Framework (RDF). It describes the Library Reference Model (LRM) and its impact on current cataloguing systems.

Chapter 4 discusses cataloguing and metadata standards and ways of representing metadata. It introduces RDA, MARC, BIBFRAME as well as standards used in records management, digital repositories and non-textual materials such as images, video and sound.

PART II: Purposes of metadata

One of the organising principles of the first edition of this book was that metadata could be categorised by purpose. The original five purposes reflected the preoccupations of information professionals in the early 2000s. Many of these purposes have stood up to scrutiny and Part II builds on that model, but with six purposes.

Chapter 5 begins this part of the book with resource identification and description as in the first edition.

Chapter 6 looks at information retrieval and the impact that metadata has on it. It necessarily discusses retrieval theory moving beyond the measures of precision and recall that were discussed in the first edition.

Chapter 7 moves on to ‘Managing information resources’ and looks at the role of metadata in managing the information lifecycle.

Chapter 8 considers intellectual property rights, including provenance.

Chapter 9 has been developed into a description of the role of metadata supporting e-commerce and e-government (this was previously a chapter on e-commerce). It is illustrated with examples from the book trade (ONIX), e-learning environments and research data (including ‘big data’).

Chapter 10, the final chapter in Part II, is about information governance, dealing with ethical and regulatory issues. Risk is used as a lens through which to view regulation and governance.

PART III: Managing metadata

Part III looks at metadata as a resource to be managed, rather than as a tool for management that we saw in Part II.

Chapter 11 refers back to the metadata concepts in Part I and identifies some of the issues that arise when developing and implementing metadata standards, such as quality and security. One way of addressing the quality issue is to have some control over the way in which metadata content is created.

Chapter 12 considers the ways in which taxonomies and other controlled vocabularies can be used to improve metadata quality. Cataloguing rules are also important in this context as are authority files.

Chapter 13 looks at very large collections of data, especially research data and official data released by public authorities. These require special consideration because of expansion of linked data and the emphasis on re-usability of public data.

Chapter 14 addresses the ethical and political issues about the control and management of information as well as privacy and human rights that were raised in the previous chapter. This last chapter also peers into the future and speculates on which professional groups will be responsible for metadata management and use.