Metadata Application Profiles
The Clearinghouse is intended to be an extensible collection/repository of metadata application profiles, mappings, and related specifications that aid or guide descriptive metadata conventions in digital repository collections. The Clearinghouse intends to make these example documents freely-available as downloadable files, as web pages are subject to change and web links are subject to “reference rot.”
The development of metadata guidelines is often a broad community task and may involve managers of services, experts in the materials being used, application developers, and potential end-users of the services. Just as often, however, the creation of metadata guidelines is an institutional task, designed to facilitate an organization’s or department’s specific needs. Diverse needs within the metadata community has resulted in a proliferation of metadata practices, even across institutions with common metadata needs. While this disparate implementation is inevitable, it has negative impacts on the community at large, including—but not limited to—hobbled interoperability and a lack of standardization in term and descriptor usage.
The mission of this Clearinghouse project is to provide the metadata community with a central hub of varied example approaches to metadata guidance, as well as providing a way for the community to share work with peers in that community. Whether creating an application profile from scratch or updating a legacy profile, it can be helpful to review the metadata guidelines of other institutions and, where it makes sense to do so, align local practices with community standards.
The starting scope for this project is primarily focused on digital repository descriptive metadata documentation and specifications. This initial groundwork does not preclude the inclusion of other metadata types or sources, nor does it mean that future iterations of this work will not broaden its scope.