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Metadata for Information Management and Retrieval: Understanding metadata and its use


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, open data repositories, social media and research data collections - 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.

1. Introduction

  • Overview
  • Why metadata?
  • Fundamental principles of metadata
  • Purposes of metadata
  • Why is metadata important?
  • Organisation of the book

2. Defining, describing and expressing metadata

  • Overview
  • Defining metadata
  • XML schemas
  • Databases of metadata
  • Examples of metadata in use
  • Conclusion

3. Data modelling

  • Overview
  • 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
  • Conclusion

4. Metadata Standards

  • Overview
  • 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
  • Conclusion

5. Resource identification and description (Purpose 1)

  • Overview
  • How do you identify a resource?
  • Identifiers
  • RFIDs and identification
  • Describing resources
  • Descriptive metadata
  • Conclusion

6. Retrieving information (Purpose 2)

  • Overview
  • 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
  • Conclusion

7. Managing information resources (Purpose 3)

  • Overview
  • Information lifecycles
  • Create or ingest
  • Preserve and store
  • Distribute and use
  • Review and dispose
  • Transform
  • Conclusion

8. Managing intellectual property rights (Purpose 4)

  • Overview
  • Rights management
  • Provenance
  • Conclusion

9. Supporting e-commerce and e-government (Purpose 5)

  • Overview
  • Electronic transactions
  • E-commerce
  • Online behavioural advertising
  • Indecs and ONIX
  • Publishing and the book trade
  • E-government
  • Conclusion

10. Information governance (Purpose 6)

  • Overview
  • 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
  • Conclusion

11. Managing metadata

  • Overview
  • Metadata is an information resource
  • Workflow and metadata lifecycle
  • Project approach
  • Application profiles
  • Interoperability of metadata
  • Quality considerations
  • Metadata security
  • Conclusion

12. Taxonomies and encoding schemes

  • Overview
  • Role of taxonomies in metadata
  • Encoding and maintenance of controlled vocabularies
  • Thesauri and taxonomies
  • Content rules – authority files
  • Ontologies
  • Social tagging and folksonomies
  • Conclusion

13. Very large data collections

  • Overview
  • 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
  • Conclusion

14. Politics and ethics of metadata

  • Overview
  • Ethics
  • Power
  • Money
  • Re-examining the purposes of metadata
  • Managing metadata itself
  • Conclusion
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.

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.

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 therefore contains 6 chapters devoted 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

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

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!

Aquiles Brayner (Digital Curator)

'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.'

Journal of Librarianship and Information Science

'...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.'


'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 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


'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

Technical Services Quarterly

...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.


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