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									           Metadata for the Masses

                              Paul Miller
                        Interoperability Focus
UK Office for Library & Information Networking (UKOLN)                
UKOLN is funded by Resource: the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries,
the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the Further and Higher
Education Funding Councils, as well as by project funding from JISC and the EU.
UKOLN also receives support from the Universities of Bath and Hull where staff
are based.
    “No man is an island”
             Donne, John, 1572–1631

The University for Industry/ LearnDirect
                             e–Government strategy
    Community Information Services (CIS)
                               National Electronic Library for Health

            “No citizen is an island”
             NGDF Metadata Project/ UKSGB
    The National Grid for Learning   The People‘s Network
     100% of Government services available electronically soon
      ―Cool Britannia‖
        A Netful of Jewels
3                                Interactive Digital TV
     Standard solutions
The nice thing about standards…

      …is that there are so many to choose from!

      So… why use standards?
    • Benefit from the expertise of others
       – Standards are (often!) compiled by groups of very
         knowledgeable people… and you can‘t afford to
         employ them all yourself…
    • Enforce rigour in internal practices
       – Standards are means of asserting control over the
         resource, allowing you to manage it more effectively
    • Facilitate interoperability (and access)
       – Community Information originates from multiple
         sources, and has many potential uses
       – Considered deployment of standard solutions makes
         access to those resources feasible for many.
        What do standards do?
    • Help identify what‘s important
         – GILS ―Access Points‖
         – Dublin Core elements
         – Mandatory fields
    • Allow for consistent use of terminology
         – Name Authority Files
         – Thesauri
         – Look–up tables
    •   Enable internal and external data exchange
    •   Reduce duplication of effort
    •   Minimise (hopefully!) wasted effort
    •   Reflect consensus.
What types of standard are there?
    • Terminology
       – ‗East Riding of Yorkshire‘, not ‗North Humberside‘
       – ‗City of York Council‘ is preferred to ‗York City Council‘
    • Format
       – ‗Miller, A.P. 1971–‘, not ‗Paul Miller‘
    • Discovery/ Semantics/ DBMS
       – A gross simplification, and a very big bucket
       – ‗Creator‘, ‗Subject‘, ‗Title‘, ‗Description‘…
    • Syntax
       – <RDF xmlns = ―‖>
    • Transfer
       –… .

    What is ‘Metadata’?
     – meaningless jargon
     – or
       a fashionable, and terribly misused, term for
       what we‘ve always done
     – or
       ―a means of turning data into information‖
     – and
       ―data about data‖
     – and
       the name of a public servant (‗Tony Blair‘)
     – and
       the title of legislation (‗the Freedom of
       Information Act‘).
    Metadata Standards
    ―Paul Miller gave a really interesting
      talk about Dublin Core at the
      Motorbike Museum in Birmingham‖

    • In Birmingham, or in Dublin?
    • About Motorbikes and about milling?
    • But what was it?

         Metadata Standards
     <speaker>―Paul Miller</speaker> gave a <value
       judgement>really interesting</value judgement>
       talk about <subject>Dublin Core</subject> at
       the <location>Motorbike Museum in


               Many flavours of metadata
                    which one do I use?
               Managing change
                    new varieties, and evolution of
                     existing forms
               Tension between functionality and simplicity,
                extensibility and interoperability

11   Functions, features, and cool stuff        Simplicity and interoperability
     Introducing the Dublin Core
        • An attempt to improve resource
          discovery on the Web
            – now adopted more broadly
        • Building an interdisciplinary consensus
          about a core element set for resource
            – simple and intuitive
            – cross–disciplinary — not just libraries!!
            – international
            – open and consensual
            – flexible.
     Introducing the Dublin Core
        •   15 elements of descriptive metadata
        •   All elements optional
        •   All elements repeatable
        •   The whole is extensible
              – offers a starting point for semantically
                richer descriptions
        • Interdisciplinary
              – libraries, government, museums,
        • International
              – available in more than 20 languages, with
13              more on the way...
     Introducing the Dublin Core

        •   Title                           •   Format
        •   Creator                         •   Identifier
        •   Subject                         •   Source
        •   Description                     •   Language
        •   Publisher                       •   Relation
        •   Contributor                     •   Coverage
        •   Date                            •   Rights
        •   Type

     The Dublin Core and Public
     Sector information
      • Global/Government Information Locator Service
        – Richer set of Access Points, offering enhanced
          functionality within a domain
        – Maps well to Dublin Core
           – Next version likely to entirely adopt DC1.1 semantics
      • Australian Government Locator Service
        – Based closely upon Dublin Core
           – Adds information on Audience, Availability, Mandate, and


     “Not me, „Gov”


     The Vision thing
     Vision is two–fold:
       • Citizen–focussed Access to
         government for the Citizen
          – NELfH
          – People‘s Network, etc.
       • Access to government by government
          – Information Asset Register
          – GSI
          – Joined–up Government.

      The Premise
     Government needs to be visible on
      the Internet
       • Use of metadata will increase recall from
         the major commercial search engines
         – Not really…
       • Use of metadata will increase recall from
         customised search engines deployed on
         government Portal sites
         – Absolutely
     The Citizen doesn‘t necessarily care
      about the structure of Government.
       The Portal mentality
     Portals are becoming very common…
       …but what are they?
       • In HE and FE‘s DNER, we distinguish
         between Portals and Gateways;
         – A Portal is ‗deep‘, and provides access to the
           contents of a set of resources
         – A Gateway is ‗shallow‘, and provides
           descriptions of the contents of a set of resources.

     Portals and Government
     There need not be only one government
       • me/
         – General public face of Government
       • me/
         – Interface tailored to primary and secondary
           education ‗customers‘, drawing information from
           DfEE, DSS (?), Benefits Agency, etc.
       • etc.
       All presenting information drawn from a common
         data pool, according to common — or
         interoperable — standards…
         me.Gov for Paul…?
     Good Morning, Paul.        Remember to Vote

     DCMS Press Releases…
           Museums to be free            East Riding News…
           Millennium Dome closed…

     Resource Press Releases…           Hull News…
                                                 Starbucks comes to Hull
           Name changed again…
           Minister welcomes ‗GLAM‘
                                         You owe Us £2,345.23.
                                         Click here for breakdown by department

                Personalise            Home                       Log Out
What we need to make it happen
• Common Vision
     • CITU Metadata and Interoperability Groups?
     • The world beyond Government!
• Common Terminology
     • Thesauri and Controlled Vocabularies
       – cf
• Common Semantics
     • Dublin Core? [plus Guidelines]
     • Common Syntax and Structure
       • XML? RDF? [plus Schemas, etc.]
     • A means to join it all up
       • Z39.50 ? [plus Profile and Infrastructure]
           z3950/ int_profile/bath/draft/ .


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