8.1 Metadata


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Metadata are particularly important when searching for images and time-based media because search based on full-text-indexing cannot be applied to the resources themselves. Content-based image recognition has not yet developed to the point where textual metadata are not needed. However, metadata for images and time-based media are often more sparse than for journals and other publications. Among other things, a thumbnail or clip is considered critical to service users but, unfortunately, is often lacking in the metadata. In order to meet user need, collection owners would be required to make thumbnails or video or sound clips available freely and harvestable from their collections.
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While aggregations of metadata about images and time based media that lack links to the resources they describe are useful in some scenarios, those that include links to the resources are more useful for research. Therefore direct links to the resources described should be included in the metadata wherever possible.
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Metadata about images and time-based media can be complex: one resource may consist of multiple other resources that could be considered works in their own right. For example one film can have separate teams producing the trailer, soundtrack, computer based animation, marketing posters and film, each of which is an individual resource in its own right.
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For some sound resources, containing e.g. dialects and oral history, author and title are less relevant for discovery than date and place. Thus time and space must be captured in the metadata for such sounds to be discoverable through a useful service.
Enrichment of metadata is valuable, especially if this can be automated. However, if the metadata record is already sparse, it can be more difficulty to enrich it by automated means. Enabling users to enrich metadata with tags (via crowdsourcing) can be beneficial; the new ‘value-added’ metadata should be treated as a commodity that can also be aggregated, which also can be shared.

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