Recently, ALCTS hosted another e-forum on developing a metadata policy. The moderators, Susan Massey and Melanie Wacker, provided this summary of the discussions that took place.
Thank you all for participating in a very interesting discussion. While going over your messages we really realized how much content has been contributed.
Many libraries are at a point where it seems that a more formal metadata policy is needed. Such a policy can consist of a metadata policy for new digital projects, participants and responsibilities, rights management, procedures, choice of standards, application profiles, mapping tables, field-by-field data dictionaries, guidelines for use of controlled vocabularies and content standards.
The following discussion indicated that guidelines related to input of descriptive metadata are already in place in many institutions. Technical and administrative metadata or overarching policy issues are not covered as often. The line between guidelines and policy is often blurred.
Some libraries have general guidelines across projects or divisions in place, that can be customized for specific projects. Others (often driven by choice of platform) focus specifically on one metadata standard or format type.
Use of controlled vocabularies for name and subject access is generally recommended and encouraged, but rarely enforced. The need for different types of controlled vocabularies for different communities was emphasized.
Wikis are the preferred place to house the documentation for easy access and updates, though the responsibility to keep that documentation up-to-date usually falls to one person.
Many libraries have working groups in place to guide metadata creation and digital access.
Participants of the forum shared their policies and guidelines, as well as the sources that they based them on:
Authority Control and the Digital Repository (Karen D. Miller)
Developing an Institutional Repository at Southern New Hampshire University (Alice Platt)
Digitization in the Real World
Describing Scholarly Works with Dublin Core (Julie Allinson)
Moving towards shareable metadata (S. Shreeves, J. Riley, L. Milewicz)
Baylor Descriptive Metadata Guidelines
University of Illinois at Chicago, CONTENTdm metadata
Metadata Implementation Guidelines for North Carolina Digital State Documents in CONTENTdm
Metadata Policy (Syracuse University Library)
Guide to using Dublin Core Qualified in the SNHU Academic Archive
NCSU Libraries Core 1.0 metadata element set best practices
Illinois Digital Archives–Metadata Guidelines
Required Metadata Fields for Collections in CARLI Digital Collections
Guidelines for the Creation of Digital Collections–Best Practices for Descriptive Metadata (CARLI)
Mountain West Digital Library Dublin Core Application Profile
UW Libraries Metadata Guidelines for CONTENTdm Collections
Standards/general application profiles
ETD-MS : an Interoperability Metadata Standard for Electronic Theses and Dissertations
CDP Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices
MODS User Guidelines
Visualization of the Metadata Universe
Susan A. Massey and Melanie Wacker