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Differences Problem: or why consistency in metadata is critical in the discovery process

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NISO Webinar; "Enabling Discovery, Part Two: Publishers and Libraries Talk Metadata & Monographs"; January 16, 2019
https://www.niso.org/events/2019/01/enabling-discovery-part-two-publishers-and-libraries-talk-metadata-monographs

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Differences Problem: or why consistency in metadata is critical in the discovery process

  1. 1. The Differences Problem Or why consistency in metadata is critical in the discovery process Shana L. McDanold
  2. 2. First A few caveats… 2
  3. 3. Inthenotso distantpast… There were two main options when searching for ebooks: 1. Search each individual vendor’s website/database 2. Load MARC records (one record for each title) into the catalog for each vendor 3
  4. 4. Inthenotso distantpast… Problems with this approach:  Loading records is a LOT of work and requires regular maintenance  Massaging/editing/enhancing metadata; loading; updates; replacements; deletes  Number of records/titles to load  Lack of records available for loading  Records come from numerous places and each vendor requires a different procedure to download files  Tracking titles in multiple places (duplicate work) 4
  5. 5. Now:more options… 1. Search each individual vendor’s website/database 2. Load MARC records (one record for each title) into the catalog for each vendor 3. Integration of various vendors metadata into discovery layers via APIs and linked data rather than importing records into the catalog 4. Federated search tools that index multiple databases (e.g. unified index search tools) …but are more options better? 5
  6. 6. Thegoodand thebad GOOD:  fewer places to search (possibly even only one)  most public libraries, while they have other ebook databases, will have a single integrated discovery layer BAD:  MORE places to search BUT discovery is still a challenge no matter which search option you choose, and those challenges are centered around: METADATA 6
  7. 7. Printbook 7
  8. 8. Ebook 8
  9. 9. Differences?  ISBN  Subjects  Title  Author  Date 9
  10. 10. Printbook 10
  11. 11. Ebook 11
  12. 12. Differences?  ISBN  Subjects  Title  Author  Date 12
  13. 13. Printbook 13
  14. 14. Ebook 14
  15. 15. Differences?  ISBN  Subjects  Title  Author  Date 15
  16. 16. Differences defined  Differences in description  Current vs past rules and guidelines;  RDA provider neutral vs individual vendor records  Differences between vendors for same title  Differences in how data is entered/presented  Record proliferation  Related to metadata differences: records cannot be “collapsed” because the discovery layer doesn’t recognize them as the same  Different vocabularies and identity databases 16
  17. 17. More differences  Missing metadata/missing records  Data changes/updates  Branding or custom text/collections 17
  18. 18. Whydothese differences matter?  How people search  Keyword - forces dependency on keyword indexes  Follow links - if you click on the subject search for Obama, Michelle, search results include only print books (no ebooks)  Limits/facets - dependent on metadata, both visible and invisible (coded)  Missing metadata  Discovery layer exposes ALL the metadata (good, bad, missing) All means items get “hidden” because they’re not findable. 18
  19. 19. How dowefix it?  CONSISTENCY  use of controlled vocabularies and existing authority databases (name matching, subjects, etc.)  Use existing metadata sources  Follow standards and recommended/best practices  Communication  Data points  complete  consistency across vendors 19
  20. 20. Questions? 20

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