7.2 Metadata Quality

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Metadata quality was considered a barrier because improving the quality of metadata requires resource and, often, the organisation sees no benefit in committing further resource to improve the quality of metadata which meet the organisational needs in their current state. One interviewee referred to the British Library (BL) EThOS initiative as an unusual example where academic institutions were willing to engage to improve and normalise data in order that the institution be accepted as a participant because non-participation in a BL national aggregation would reflect badly on the institution. Metadata quality issues may disproportionately affect small, specialist collections. An interviewee responsible for a collection housed within HE suggested that an aggregation would be valuable and that s/he would participate only if it were ‘inclusive’ of the small, specialist collections that are housed in a heterogeneous range of small organisations. S/he acknowledged that these are least likely to be able to provide quality metadata, adhere to metadata standards or resource participation.

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