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Title:On Metadata: How Records Describe Resources
Author(s):Urban, Richard J.
Subject(s):metadata, records, resources
Abstract:Bibliographic records -- including metadata -- are often defined as data that describes or is about resources. The function of such records is to help users identify, select, and obtain the resources that meet their information needs. In pursuit of these goals, the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative introduced a fundamental principle, known as the 1:1 Principle that requires records to describe "one, and only one resource." But how is it that metadata comes to describe anything, let alone one thing? How can we systematically tell when metadata describes more than one thing? To answer these questions, my research has turned towards similar problems of description found in natural language utterances. Like definite descriptions, metadata bears a special referential relationship to a single coherent information resource -- making it more than just a small document and more than a set of data values. Metadata that expresses contrary propositions about that resource can therefore be identified as a 1:1 Principle violation. This presentation will apply this theory of metadata description to IMLS DCC cultural heritage records that appear to reference resources with both physical and digital properties.
Issue Date:2011
Publisher:Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Genre:Presentation / Lecture / Speech
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-03-12

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