DLF AIG MWG Metadata Assessment Toolkit


Welcome to the Metadata Assessment Toolkit, a project of the Digital Library Federation (DLF) Assessment Interest Group (AIG) Metadata Working Group, also known as the DLF Metadata Assessment Working Group. As a member of the DLF community, we abide by the DLF Code of Conduct.

The DLF AIG Metadata Working Group collaboratively builds guidelines, best practices, tools and workflows around the evaluation and assessment of metadata used by and for digital libraries and repositories. We want to support discussions on what metadata assessment means, sharing of our efforts and approaches, how we perform metadata analysis, and why metadata assessment is important.

The DLF AIG Metadata Working Group works on high-level outputs that a wide-number of digital cultural heritage repository users can implement for metadata assessment. This group does not offer prescriptive recommendations for metadata (using one schema versus another, or comparisons of controlled vocabularies, etc.), but rather focuses on how (both functionally and to what possible metrics) to measure, evaluate and assess the metadata as it exists in a variety of digital library systems. We hope our toolkit lends itself to performing your own assessment, being able to understand the results, and then decide a pathway for metadata enhancement - if that is your goal. Metadata assessment can also give you new insights into your collections and data beyond quality control, and we address that aspect as well.

“This toolkit provides a plain language, high-level framework for assessing descriptive metadata in digital collections. Due to the wide range of digital collections, users, and institutions, the guidance outlines a general path to assessment, followed by more tailored paths for a set of use cases, without reference to particular schema or vocabularies.“

Right now, the DLF AIG Metadata Assessment Working Group Toolkit focuses primarily on Metadata Assessment for understanding mostly descriptive metadata needs and pain points. This was the largest and most documented need area for this Toolkit.

However, we do not limit ourselves to only digital repository, descriptive metadata assessment. As our group’s work builds out, we hope to cover:

  • other types of metadata (structural, administrative, technical, …);
  • assessment of the utility and importance of metadata as well as the qualitative state of metadata currently used;
  • and metadata beyond the digital repository.

The work areas of the 2016 DLF Metadata Assessment Working Group were:

  • performing an environmental scan on the topic of metadata quality and assessment;
  • gathering use cases and definitions for metadata assessment needs and realities;
  • creating a preliminary framework and set of recommendations on metadata assessment.

The work areas of the 2017 DLF Metadata Assessment Working Group are:

    • – Update structure of the Github site created for last year’s Environmental Scan to support expansion and ongoing work.
    • – Create mechanism for people to submit updates & feedback.
    • – Review and expand list of metadata assessment tools gathered as part of the Environmental Scan.
    • – Begin testing tools gathered as part of the Environmental Scan in order to eventually create a repository for metadata assessment tools.
    • – A Metadata Application Profile Clearinghouse that can be used as a community repository for application profiles, mappings and guidelines for metadata.
    • – Create a general framework document on how to assess metadata that can be used for the glam community.
    • – Collaborate with other institutions on metadata assessment and analysis workshop work.