When Dean Seeman, Head of Metadata at University of Victoria Library, did his first round of metadata remediation he found many a lone skeleton:
[out of] 162 different metadata fields/properties 89 were used only once!
I think this is a result of at least a couple of things: lack of centralized direction over metadata in the system as a whole (and lack of communication around consistent standards) ; and CONTENTdm allowing anyone to name their properties/field labels anything they want.
As a result we had 4 different properties/field labels in CONTENTdm of expressing Alternative Title:
Title - Alternative (used in 14 collections)
Alternative Title (11 collections)
Title-Alternative (4 collections)
Title, Alternate (2 collections)
Another example of this is around Rights field labels:
Access and Use Rights (27 collections)
Use Rights (19 collections)
Access Rights (17 collections)
Rights (5 collections)
Use and Access Rights (27 collections)
Our path to Hyku involves creating a single application profile (learn more here ) for all collections which will force us to standardize our language around property labels and also take some of the pressure/ambiguity out of the decision of “what fields to use.” Just one example of the opportunities that a migration affords.
As Dean and Anne state above, learning about your scariest metadata issues is a great way to start the journey towards cleaner and more standardized metadata.
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