Skip to main content

Metadata Coordination Group: Home

Coordinating the metadata activities of AMES, IASC, and SCS.

Contact Us

Nina Davis-Millis (AMES) - ninadm@mit.edu, 617-253-5652

Deb Morley (SCS) - dgmorley@mit.edu, 617-258-5594

Thomas Rosko (IASC) - rosko@mit.edu, 617-253-5688

MIT Libraries Metadata Links

Definition and overview

NOTE:  The Metadata Coordination Group has ceased to meet; this page is for historical reference only.

“Metadata is structured information that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage an information resource. Metadata is often called data about data or information about information.”  (NISO, Understanding Metadata, 2004)

Metadata is an essential component of discovery and delivery of information; as such, it is of concern throughout the organization.  Coordinating efforts aimed at creating and maintaining data about our collections contributes to the ability to share data across systems, and furthers the goal of providing a seamless and efficient research environment.

Scope

·         The following plan was drawn up in 2010 with a three-year timeframe in mind, and revised in May 2011.  At the end of the three year period, these structures should be re-evaluated and adjusted as required.

·         There are various types of metadata, used for various purposes.  This plan focuses on metadata used for the delivery of content to the public. 

Roles

 

·         Overview:  We need to retain and preserve the specialization of metadata work done in our respective areas, and also bring a generalist perspective to coordinating those efforts.

·         The AMES Co-Head for Metadata and Enterprise Systems has a lead role in metadata planning and coordination throughout the organization.  Details on the areas where coordination is required are in the following section. 

·         Acquisitions, Metadata and Enterprise Systems (AMES) is responsible for creating MARC and non-MARC metadata according to national standards for description, access, and encoding.  Specific activities include:

o   Creating metadata for a variety of formats — analog, digitized, and born-digital —and in a variety of schemas

                                                                           i.      Providing MARC cataloging of published materials in all formats

                                                                         ii.      Producing metadata for digital collections

o   Overseeing quality control of metadata for managed collections

                                                                           i.      Contributing national authority records, including CONSER records, authority records for MIT personal and corporate authors, and other headings relevant to the Libraries’ collections and activities

                                                                         ii.      Coordinating the effort to establish and share forms of entry for MIT authors, and other headings relevant to the Libraries’ collections and activities

                                                                        iii.      Planning and implementing quality control measures for DOME and DSpace@MIT metadata

o   Managing relationships with vendors providing metadata services, and assuring the quality of the metadata obtained commercially, in consultation with other areas as appropriate

o   Serving as a resource to other units with regard to metadata, and especially in reference to local policies and best practices.

                                                                           i.      Coordinating metadata planning across management platforms and throughout the Libraries’ organizational structure

                                                                         ii.      Coordinating the metadata component of digital projects

·         The Institute Archives is responsible for metadata specific to special collections and archival materials, in MARC and non-MARC formats.  The Archives has an additional responsibility for the overall treatment of MIT publications and MIT-authored content.  Specific activities include:

o   Creating metadata for a variety of formats — analog, digitized, and born-digital —and in a variety of schemas

                                                                        i.         Creating finding aids for collections, using the Archivists Toolkit

                                                                      ii.         Providing MARC cataloging of rare books

                                                                     iii.         Producing metadata for digital collections

o   Providing guidance to AMES around the metadata needs of MIT publications, including theses

o   Participating in establishing forms of entry for MIT authors, and other headings relevant to the Archives’ collections and activities

·         Specialized Content and Services (SCS)is responsible for metadata in non-MARC formats, in support of collections requiring specialized knowledge, training, and skills to provide content and services to users.  Specific activities include:

o   Creating metadata for a variety of formats — analog, digitized, and born-digital —and in a variety of schemas

                                                                           i.      Cataloging images in IRIS (or a successor system)

                                                                         ii.      Creating FGDC metadata records for GIS data sets

                                                                        iii.      Creating metadata for CAD files and other architectural records in digital format (FACADE)

                                                                       iv.      Producing metadata for digital collections

o   Providing guidance to AMES around the metadata needs of specialized content in digital formats

o   Participating in establishing forms of entry for MIT authors, and other headings relevant to the area’s collections and activities.

Ongoing coordination:

·         AMES is responsible for documenting policies, decisions, and best practices, and for maintaining this documentation in a location accessible to all.

·         AMES is responsible for developing and maintaining a shared file of authority records for all cataloging groups to access.  This includes managing our participation in activities at the national level, and also creating and maintaining a method for local metadata creators to share forms of entry for MIT people and entities.

·         AMES is responsible for ensuring the quality and integrity of metadata collections which are deemed to warrant full-level cataloging. 

·         Changes to cataloging policy which have service implications, in Barton, DOME, or DSpace@MIT, will be discussed in IRL and communicated to RIS before being implemented.

·         The AMES Co-Head for Metadata and Enterprise Systems will oversee the work of the Digital Operations Team or its successor, to ensure that digital library workflows and operations are in keeping with established policies.  She will have the authority to make operational decisions relevant to the metadata component of DOT’s work.

·         The heads of SCS  and Archives and the AMES Co-Head for Metadata and Enterprise Systems will continue to work together to coordinate across these units’ ongoing metadata activities.  AMES’s co-head will serve as the convener, will ensure that the others get reports of DOT’s relevant activities, and will communicate their concerns back to DOT. 

Emerging Needs

The three area leads with specific responsibilities for metadata will work with other staff as required to meet any needs that may emerge during the next three years.  Specifically, they will ensure that all metadata activities aimed at delivering content to the public conform, as appropriate, to established standards; that local metadata producers are aware of available documentation and training; and that decisions are made which balance service priorities with metadata quality assurance.