As 2017 comes to a close and we gear up for the new year, I’ve spent some time reflecting on the past twelve months. Because we set ambitious goals and are usually looking forward, not back, we can often feel defeated by all the work we haven’t gotten done. So I was pleasantly surprised when my perusal of the past year’s metadata work surfaced a good deal of impressive work. Here are a few of the highlights:
Development and Dissemination of the DDR MAP
Perhaps our biggest achievement of the year was the development of the DDR’s very first formally documented metadata application profile, the DDR MAP. A metadata application profile defines the metadata elements and properties your system uses, documenting predicates, obligations & requirements, and input guidelines. Having a documented and shared metadata application profile promotes healthy metadata practices and facilitates communication.
In addition to the generalized DDR MAP, we also developed a Research Data Metadata Profile and a Digital Collections Metadata Profile for those specific collecting areas.
Rights Management Metadata
It’s been written about on this blog a couple of times already (here and here) but I think it bears repeating: this year we rolled out a new rights management metadata strategy that employs the application of either a Creative Commons or RightsStatement.org URI to all DDR resources, as well as the option of applying an additional free text rights note to provide context:
We feel great about finally being able to communicate the rights statuses of DDR resources in a clear and consistent way to our end-users (and ourselves!).
Programmatic Linking to Catalog Records
Sometimes a resource in the DDR also has a record in the library catalog, and sometimes that record contains description that is either not easily accommodated by the DDR MAP, or it is not desirable to include it in the repository metadata record for a particular reason. It wasn’t in the cards to develop a synchronization or feed of the MARC metadata, but we were able to implement a solution wherein we store the identifier for the catalog record on the resource in the repository, and then use that identifier to construct and display a link back to the catalog record.
And Lots of Other Cool Stuff
There were a lot of other cool metadata developments this year, including building out our ability to represent relationships between related items in the DDR, developing policies regarding the storage and display of identifiers, and a fancy new structural metadata solution for representing the hierarchical structure of born digital archives. We also got to work on some amazing new and revamped digital collections!
Of course, we are setting ambitious goals for the coming year as well – plans to upgrade our current Dspace repository, DukeSpace, and implement the new RT2 connector to Elements, will involve substantial metadata work, and the current project to build a Hyrax-based repository for research data presents and opportunity for us to revisit and improve our Research Data Metadata Profile. And ideally we will be able to make some real headway tackling the problem of identity management – leveraging unique identifiers for people (ORCIDs, for example), rather than relying on name strings, which is inherently error prone.
And there is a whole slew of interesting metadata work for the Digital Collections program slated for 2018 , including adding enhanced homiletic metadata to the Duke Chapel Recordings digital collection.