7 thoughts on “A metadata tool that scales”

  1. We’re not just using homegrown systems (Access, FileMaker, etc.), but we’re also in the early stages of building Web-based of the sort you’re describing here. However, we’d love to be able to beg, borrow, or steal one and not have to develop it ourselves.

    The crux, though, is workflow support: different institutions have developed or evolved different kinds of workflow, and a data entry tool too closely bound to a particular way of doing things may make it difficult for other institutions to adopt without completely retooling their internal processes to fit the tool. This is probably unavoidable, as batch operations, authorization, collection assignment, etc. are necessary for efficient data entry, but are also tightly bound to particular models of workflow organization.

    Your functional requirements above are similar to ours; here are some other features that may be useful:

    – support batch import/export of objects
    – allow a single object to belong to many (or no) collections
    – provide for compound objects, where a first-class object’s children may (or may not) be other first-class objects.

    Good luck with the project! Ours started as a “new data entry interface project”, but has evolved into “change the entire infrastructure” – the tail (in hindsight, necessarily) wagged the dog.

  2. We have developed a system at The University of Texas at Austin that sounds quite a lot like what is being described. It is an open source project, meant to have a low barrier to entry for both users and developers. More info at DASe Project. We plan a beta release soon, but adventurous users can install from an svn checkout. This post (and Peter Gorman’s comment) are very helpful in defining the needs we all seems to have. I plan a blog post shortly running down exactly how DASe addresses (or plans/hopes to address) each of the points articulated above.

  3. Another open source project which might meet most of your requirements is OpenCollection (www.opencollection.org). Some work should be done to incorporate the workflow processes you described, but from a metadata management point of view, OC should be able to handle your needs.

  4. Hi Will, all…

    I was just alterted to this post by Derek Rodriguez (thank you Derek!!).

    The RLG report is an interesting study. I consulted with the authors, after it was released, however, because I was very surpised they didn’t consider other research of similar nature, and in particular the AMeGA project’s final report.

    The AMeGA project included an extensive survey with 214 participants , asking them not only about the metadata applications they are using, but the functionalities they desire in their applications. The report was produced in conjunction with LC’s bibliographic action control plan, specifically to address section 4.2, and consider recommendations for automatic metadata generation. But the report includes a lot of other rich date specific to the ideas and concerns expressed in this blog on the topic of tools!! 🙂

    I very stronlgy encougate anyone interested in this topic to read the report, at the very least to view the executive summary. The AMeGA task force included a number of top people in the area of metadata, who provided thouthful feedback and commentary, and helped to distribute the underlying survey.

    The report is, in my “biased” opinion, much more extensive than RLG’s report and provides recommendations functionalities for metadata applications. And, I am surprised that after dialog with the authors of the RLG report, they do not make reference to this work.

    The AMeGA work, and the work fo the Dublin Core Tools Community, is important to the future of tools development, and increasing the dialog among tool developers and users.

    I am providing three links here that I believe are very important, given this disucssion:

    1. AMeGA final report: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/bibcontrol/lc_amega_final_report.pdf

    Don’t let the title scare anyone from viewing this, there is extensive research here and outcomes!! (And, I’d be pleased to hear from anyone about this).

    2. Metadata Tools for Digital Resource Repositories–
    JCDL 2006 Workshop Report

    This is the final report of an exciting workshop held in Chapel Hill during DC2006, bringing together tool developers and users.

    3. Dublin Core Tools Community: http://dublincore.org/groups/tools/

    Home page for the DC Tools community.. a group that is near and dear to my heart…and led by Thomas S. and Seth V-H, the last poster on this blog.

    Thanks anyone who has taken the time to read my response!! I am passionate about this topic, because there is a lot of exciting work to be done in the area of metadata tool development, and bringing various communities together…

    best wishes, jane (janeg@email.unc.edu)

  5. more.. i mean to say “alerted” not altered.. to the discussion, but may this is a Freudian slip??

    no spell check for me… here.. oh well

    cheers..agaihn. j

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *