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Metadata : Promise and Practice Jeffrey Beall Nebraska Library Association Technical Services Round Table Spring Meeting, April 25, 2008 Outline Introduction 8 theses of my talk About me Metadata and high-quality information retrieval; value of browse displays

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metadata promise and practice

Metadata : Promise and Practice

Jeffrey Beall

Nebraska Library Association

Technical Services Round Table

Spring Meeting, April 25, 2008

outline
Outline
  • Introduction
  • 8 theses of my talk
  • About me
  • Metadata and high-quality information retrieval; value of browse displays
  • Four types of searching in libraries
  • The weaknesses of full-text searching
  • The future of cataloging and the debate
  • Next-generation library interfaces
slide4

Favorite funny subject headings

Golf and war

Electric donkeys

Infants — Congresses

World Wide Web — Early works to 1800

Automobile driving — Religious aspects

Dance — France

Women, Kukukuku

(Changed to: Women, Hamtai)

Ugly contests

Host-fungus relationships

slide5

Favorite funny subject headings

Weapons of mass destruction—Safety measures

Pomegranate seeds in literature

Infants — Books and reading

Eskimos — Hunting

Headache patients’ writings

Bird surveys

Violin — Methods (Fiddling)

Global warming — Fiction

Body, Human — Catalogs

Mentally ill parents

Appalachian Region — Intellectual life

slide6

Favorite funny subject headings

Tax exemption — Taxation

Dinosaurs as pets

Labor disputes — Poetry

Crappie fishing

Reality — Fiction

Historic buildings — Design and construction

Public toilets in motion pictures

Domestic asses

Hurling managers

Uranus probes

110 10 |a United States. |b Office of Solid Waste

theses
Theses
  • Libraries should provide high-quality information discovery and information retrieval.
  • The best way to achieve this is with systems that sufficiently exploit rich, standard, and comprehensive metadata.
  • Rich, standard, and comprehensive metadata requires controlled vocabularies for subject metadata, name disambiguation, granularity of description, and collocation.
theses continued
Theses (continued)
  • Full-text searching, while not devoid of value, is a low-quality IR/ID system for the type of searching done in libraries, especially serious research and scholarship, etc.
  • At this time, computers, which do not understand the nuances of human language, are not able to create metadata that is of sufficient quality for use in library IR systems
theses continued9
Theses (continued)
  • Information discovery often requires mediation. IR systems don’t have to be dumbed-down and made simple. Many things in the world are complicated, so it’s natural that the organization of information will reflect that. It’s okay to have to learn to use a library catalog or other IR system.
theses continued10
Theses (continued)
  • Library IR systems should not abandon alphabetical browse displays in favor of relevance ranking.
  • The creation, maintenance, and sharing of metadata for intellectual resources should not be made so complicated that it reduces the amount or quality of metadata being created.
about me
About me

Auraria Campus

the value of metadata
The value of metadata
  • Elements of metadata
  • The value of rich metadata
  • The library technology graveyard – analyses of low-quality, emerging library technologies
  • Defining quality in library IR systems
the value of left anchored browse displays
The value of left-anchored browse displays
  • Simplicity
  • Structure
  • Parsing advantage
  • References
  • Truncation
  • Concept consolidation
  • Collocation of inverted terms
  • Typographical errors
  • Classification display
  • Completeness
  • Skill transference
the four categories of searching in libraries
The Four categories of searching in libraries
  • Deterministic searching
  • Full text searching
  • Metatext searching
  • Metadata-enhanced stochastic searching
deterministic searching
Deterministic searching
  • An author, title, subject, number search in an online library catalog
  • Only searches metadata; results sorted alphanumerically
  • Can use cross-references
full text searching
Full-text searching
  • Matches words in a search with words in documents
  • Advantages: free, good for rare terms, good for casual information seeking
  • Also called stochastic searching, probabilistic searching
metatext searching
Metatext searching
  • Is a full-text search but only of metadata
  • A keyword search in a library catalog is an example
  • Advantages: good for rare words; good for novice searchers
  • Disadvantage: May miss abbreviated terms; is full text, but not of full text itself
metadata enhanced stochastic searching
Metadata-enhanced stochastic searching
  • Is a full-text search but also uses metadata to limit results
  • Google advanced search is an example
  • Google staff mode – how do they encode metadata? What\'s their metadata scheme?
the weaknesses of full text searching
The weaknesses of full-text searching
  • The synonym problem
  • The homonym problem
  • Inability to search by facets
  • Spamming
  • The "aboutness" problem
  • Figurative language
  • Word lists
  • Abstract topics
the weaknesses of full text searching continued
The weaknesses of full-text searching (continued)
  • The incognito problem
  • Difficult-to-search paired topics
  • Search engine variability
  • The opaque web
miscellaneous
Miscellaneous
  • What computers still cannot do
  • Gresham\'s Law
  • Still need metadata surrogates
  • The debate about the future of cataloging
    • My strategy
  • "Next-generation" library catalogs
slide25

WorldCat.org

Example of a

next-generation, FRBRized

search engine

  • Facets
  • Metatext search
  • Hope for catalogers
  • Can be sorted also by
  • author, title, date
jeffrey beall@ucdenver edu
[email protected]

Discussion …

Scarlet

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