Friday, December 28, 2007

adding metadata to the list of what we learned

A couple of folks wrote and asked me why I didn't specify metadata standards in my post on what we learned from our repository project. I mentioned the impact of interface design on metadata needs, but some additional reinforcement can't hurt.

So ...

5. It shouldn't even need to be said that you should have your metadata standards identified before you start your development. We did. What we learned is that activities related to categories 2-4 will mean that you will have to make changes to what metadata you create and how you use it. For example, when changes were made to our interface design and functionality, we needed metadata formatted in a certain way for search results and some displays. We thought that we'd generate the metadata on-the-fly, but that turned out to be a lot of overhead so we decided to pre-generate the metadata needed: display name, sort name, display title, sort title, display date, and sort date. It isn't metadata we necessarily create during cataloging processes, but it's something we can generate during the conversion from its original form to UVA DescMeta XML. Another example is faceted browsing. To have the most sensible facets in our next interface, we need to break up post-coordinated subject strings or we'll have a facets for every variation. We thought about pre-generating this, but it turns out that Lucene can do this as part of the index building.

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