5 Methodology and Sources

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The RDTF implementation plan [i] identifies the key stakeholders in achieving the vision. As there is potential for most to be involved in an aggregation of metadata about images and time-based media, a corresponding wide range of views was sought. The approach taken was desk research followed by a consultation exercise and is summarised as follows:
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  • The desk research informed background on current metadata activity, identification of initial stakeholders with whom to consult, issues around aggregations of metadata and identification of a preliminary set of questions for the consultation exercise.
  • The questions were refined in initial interviews with 9 participants.
  • Semi-structured interviews[ii] were the primary method used to determine:
    • What metadata are collected.
    • How they are used.
    • Attitudes to sharing (and willingness to participate).
    • Potential uses.
    • Benefits and risks as well as barriers to sharing.
    • The attitudes of vendors to such sharing.
  • To supplement the interviews the team posted an online survey (see Appendix B – Online Survey) and publicised it through relevant JISC email lists and the JISC blog. A project website was set up with further information about the study and a link to the study (at http://edina.ac.uk/projects/Aggregations_Scoping_summary.html).
  • Some stakeholders who had completed the online survey were then also interviewed as a way of further exploring some particularly interesting responses from the online survey. Some also answered follow-up clarification queries via email.
  • During the course of the project an opportunity arose to gain additional feedback at the UK Metadata Forum meeting during Repository Fringe 2010 in September 2010. This was gathered through a discussion with a group of 8 participants.
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[i] http://rdtf.jiscinvolve.org/wp/implementation-plan/
[ii] The primary consultation method chosen was semi-structured interviews because of the exploratory nature of this project and the broad range of roles and experiences that bear on this topic. Semi-structured interviews gather richer information than online surveys. However, interviews are resource intensive. The questions posed to specific interviewees varied depending on their role in relation to the topic.

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