Forwarding on behalf of Carl Lagoze & Herbert Van de Sompel:
Over the past eighteen months the Open Archives Initiative
(OAI), in a project called Object Reuse
and Exchange (OAI-ORE), has gathered
international experts from the publishing, web, library, and eScience
community to develop standards for the identification and description of
aggregations of online information resources. These aggregations,
sometimes called compound digital objects, may combine distributed
resources with multiple media types including text, images, data, and
video. The goal of these standards is to expose the rich content in
these aggregations to applications that support authoring, deposit,
exchange, visualization, reuse, and preservation. Although a motivating
use case for the work is the changing nature of scholarship and
scholarly communication, and the need for cyberinfrastructure to support
that scholarship, the intent of the effort is to develop standards that
generalize across all web-based information including the increasing
popular social networks of “web 2.0″.
The beta version of the OAI-ORE specifications and implementation
documents are released to the
public on June 2, 2008. These documents describe a data model to
introduce aggregations as resources with URIs on the web. They also
detail the machine-readable descriptions of aggregations expressed in
the popular Atom syndication format, in RDF/XML, and RDFa.
The table of contents page with links to the following other documents
is located at .
The full press release for this beta release is located at
Carl Lagoze – Cornell University
Herbert Van de Sompel – Los Alamos National Laboratory
Muriel Foulonneau (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France) and Jenn Riley (Indiana University) have published a new book on using metadata for cultural resources.
According to the blurb
This book is intended to assist information professionals in improving the usability of digital objects by adequately documenting them and using tools for metadata management. It provides practical advice for libraries, archives, and museums dealing with digital collections in a wide variety of formats and from a wider variety of sources.
It will be interesting to see if it looks at some of the more recent additions to the field, such as METS and MODS.
Digitisation has so far created plenty of related collections sitting in distinct websites on the Internet, but it can be a frustrating experience trying to navigate multiple websites with similar content.
The University of Glasgow’s National Inventory Research Project has done the opposite in bringing together European paintings from distinct UK museum collections. It contains detailed records, and an increasing number of digital images, of nearly 8,000 paintings, principally in smaller regional collections in the UK.
There a different ways of trying to bring such info together – automated metadata creation, vocabulary mapping, federated searching. This project has followed a traditional method, focussing the metadata on shared research approaches towards hand-crafted scholarly evidence.
The inventory can be searched via the Visual Arts Data Service website
Last year UKOLN, a research group at the University of Bath, wrote an excellent state of the art review on Terminology Services.
It defines them as a set of services that present and apply vocabularies, both controlled and uncontrolled, including their member terms, concepts and relationships. This is done for purposes of searching, browsing, discovery, translation, mapping, semantic reasoning, subject indexing and classification, harvesting, alerting etc.
Basically, it gives a review of tools that make metadata interoperable. Such services have a vital role to play in bringing together many of the disparate digitised collections now in existence. The two websites on the Scots language mentioned in my previous blog post could well make use of some specialised terminology services to bring them together. Both websites can be intelligently searched on its own, but they cannot be cross-searched in any sophisticated way.
The National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa) is pleased to announce the open-source release of version 3.2 of its Metadata Extraction Tool.
The Metadata Extraction Tool programmatically extracts preservation metadata from a range of file formats including PDF documents, image files, sound files, office documents, and many others. It automatically extracts preservation-related metadata from digital files, then outputs that metadata in XML. It can be used through a graphical user interface or command-line interface.
The software was created in 2003 and redeveloped this year. It is now available as open-source software from http://meta-extractor.sf.net/ under the terms of the Apache Public License.
To find out more:
* Visit the project homepage: http://meta-extractor.sf.net/
* Read the information sheet: http://meta-extractor.sourceforge.net/meta-extractor-info-sheet.pdf
* Download the software: http://sourceforge.net/project/platformdownload.php?group_id=189407
As reported elsewhere, version 4 of the the metadata standard for digital images, VRA (Visual Resources Association) has been released.
An article on shareable metadata in First Monday points out the fact that if harvesting protocols like OAI are going to work, they need metadata which works when placed outside its local context.
The article suggests various stratgies for metadata providers to ensure their data makes sense when mixed with others’ metadata – consistency, content and coherence are three of the six key issues. Digital resource creators would do well to heed them.
But is this enough? With more and more metadata being created is it possible to rely on each and every metadata provider creating quality, consistent metadata at a local and national level?
Or do we need more intelligent, machine-driven ways of interpreting and mapping metadata in order to aggregate it and present it to the end user in a meaningful way?