Establish a Baseline Understanding of Metadata Practices Project

Note: This project has been completed.

RLG surveyed a subset of the RLG partnership in July and August 2007 to obtain a baseline understanding of their current metadata practices. Eighteen RLG Programs partners were selected because they had multiple "metadata creation centers" within a single campus, including libraries, archives, and museums. The 89 responses received are indicative of different metadata practices.

The November 2007 report of the survey results summarizes the descriptive practices used across a variety of applications, data structure and data content standards followed, the audiences for the metadata created, and some organizational patterns. Our analysis raised questions that warrant follow-up. The narrative interprets the results and identifies opportunities to simplify and integrate metadata practices as we seek to reduce their costs.

Respondents to the survey cited more than 260 tools used for creating, editing, and storing metadata. The RLG Programs Metadata Tools Forum on May 8, 2008 hosted by the Boston Public Library focused on tools that:

  • expedite metadata creation or editing
  • can be used by multiple institutions
  • do not require purchasing a new system, but rely on commonly available software most institutions would already have in-house or that are based on open source components


For more information

Karen Smith-Yoshimura
Program Officer