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Transitioning to the next generation of metadata

Data availability Information resources Data processing Information resources management Metadata

This report synthesises six years (2015-2020) of OCLC Research Library Partners Metadata Managers Focus Group discussions and what they may foretell for the “next generation of metadata.” The firm belief that metadata underlies all discovery regardless of format, now and in the future, permeates all Focus Group discussions.

Yet metadata is changing. Innovations in librarianship are exerting pressure on metadata management practices to evolve as librarians are required to provide metadata for far more resources of various types and to collaborate on institutional or multi-institutional projects with fewer staff. 

This report considers:

  • Why is metadata changing? 
  • How is the creation process changing?
  • How is the metadata itself changing? 
  • What impact will these changes have on future staffing requirements, and how can libraries prepare?

This report proposes that transitioning to the next generation of metadata is an evolving process, intertwined with changing standards, infrastructures, and tools. Together, Focus Group members came to a common understanding of the challenges, shared possible approaches to address them, and inoculated these ideas into other communities that they interact with. 

Editor's note

An annotated bibliography, which provides details on blog posts from Hanging Together: The OCLC Research Blog referenced in the 'Transitioning to the next generation of metadata report', is also available for download.

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