Monday, December 1, 2008

Metadata: Oh - The Pain!

If you really want to scare away scientists from your project, say: "metadata". Most scientists develop a skin rash on having to deal with metadata, yet useful information systems depend on metadata of some form or other. Many metadata are straight forward and can be generated from context. The most difficult metadata elements seem to be keywords.

Isn't there a way to generate metadata automatically? Well, there are methods proposed and there are some tools around for automatic metadata extraction. With less guesswork involved, the extraction process can be made more efficient. Therefore it is also useful to know which metadata can be embedded in which file formats.

A report by Polfreman and Rajbhandari, published last week in the JISC information environment repository. The extensive report looks at methods and tools for automated metadata generation, mainly from the angle of generating Dublin Core metadata for institutional repositories.

Polfreman, Malcolm, und Shrija Rajbhandari (2008), MetaTools - Investigating Metadata Generation Tools , JISC, London, United Kingdom. [online] Available from:

Robert has already looked at the tool offered by Yahoo! and considers it potentially useful for We'll keep you posted on any progress we make with automated metadata extraction.

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