The Standards Paradox: Case studies in Conforming to or Abandoning Metadata Standards

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Riley, Jenn. "The Standards Paradox: Case studies in Conforming to or Abandoning Metadata Standards." Digital Library Program Brown Bag Presentation, October 31, 2007.

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  • The Variations2 Data Model includes the following entities and relationships:
    The Work represents the abstract concept of a musical composition or set of compositions.
    It is manifested in the Instantiation, which represents a manifestation of a work as a recorded performance or a score.
    The physical level is represented by the Container, which is the item or set of item(s) on which one or more instantiations of works can be found, e.g. a CD or published score.
    This is actually the level which is most typically represented in the traditional USMARC catalogs.
    Finally, the Media Object represents a piece of digital media content, such as a sound file or score image, and Contributors represent people or groups that contribute to a work, instantiation, or container.
  • Here is an example of how real recordings and scores might fit into the Variations2 Data Model.
    A CD titled “Mozart, Piano Works” would represent the container level in the Data Model.
    The recordings of two different pieces on this CD—Sonata K.279 and Fantasia K.397—would become instantiations, each having its own properties (recording date, place, etc.).
    The performers of these recordings would receive appropriate Contributor records with their own attributes (dates of birth, etc.). This is especially valuable because unlike in the USMARC system, Variations2 Data Model accommodates very clear and precise linking of performers and works.
    Each of the instantiations would be linked to an abstract work record, with its own “global” work properties. The work record, in its turn, is linked to its contributor, the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
    A score would be accommodated in a similar way. For example, a score of the Piano Fantasia K. 397 would be linked to its instantiation, which would be related to the appropriate work and its contributor.
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  • The Standards Paradox: Case studies in Conforming to or Abandoning Metadata Standards

    1. 1. The Standards Paradox: Case Studies in Conforming to or Abandoning Metadata Standards Jenn Riley Metadata Librarian Digital Library Program
    2. 2. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 2 The problem “Standards are like toothbrushes, everyone agrees that they’re a good idea but nobody wants to use anyone else’s.” * * I heard this from Murtha Baca at the Getty, but she got it from someone else…
    3. 3. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 3 Seriously, though…  We have to make decisions about how to represent metadata internally in our systems  We all have our own unique needs  Every collection/project is different  One solution does not fit all HOWEVER, we cannot afford to make a new solution from scratch for every new pool of content.
    4. 4. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 4 What are metadata standards for?  Interoperability  Providing clear representations of conceptual models  Reminding you of the sorts of things you ought to record
    5. 5. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 5 How do metadata standards differ?  Underlying conceptual model  Focus of description  Analog vs. digital  Intellectual content vs. carrier  Use of data  Discovery  Description  Interpretation  etc…
    6. 6. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 6 Benefits of using standards internally  Fewer decisions to make (but far from none)  Some expectation of interoperability (but far from assured)  Less risk you’re forgetting something important
    7. 7. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 7 Drawbacks of using standards internally  Usually have to be creative with implementation  Little room for growth of functionality over time  Standards evolve over time – you either get behind or have to repeatedly upgrade
    8. 8. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 8 Benefits of designing your own metadata structures  You get to do it the way you want!  Can more easily meet the unique needs of a particular set of materials or user base  Can take shortcuts  Multiple versions  Combining different types of metadata  (And it’s fun to design new things.)
    9. 9. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 9 Drawbacks of designing your own metadata structures  Still need to support standards in some way  Must write mappings to standard formats  Have to upgrade export mechanisms whenever target standards change  Conceptual model underlying your implementation may not match target export standards, making mapping difficult
    10. 10. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 10 Scope of today’s discussion  Focus is on descriptive metadata structure standards  The same principles would apply to other types of metadata  Other purposes – technical, structural, etc.  Other levels – controlled vocabularies, etc.
    11. 11. Variations2/3 From local model to standard model
    12. 12. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 12  Research project funded by NSF and NEH  Variations2 expanded on existing system by:  expanding representations of music in other media: score images, encoded scores  creating additional metadata and new software tools for enhanced searching, synchronization, and navigation  creating tools for pedagogical use Variations2 (2000-2005) slide courtesy of Jon Dunn, DLP
    13. 13. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 13 Variations2 architecture (2005) Collection Metadata Access Control, Bookmarks contentuserinterfaceusers digitized audio scanned scores encoded scores faculty students librarians slide courtesy of Jon Dunn, DLP
    14. 14. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 14 Work-based metadata model  Developed in 2001  Data model and cataloging guidelines developed locally specifically for the project  Decision to develop locally stemmed from need to “bind” any recording to any score of the same Work easily
    15. 15. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 15 is represented by MEDIA OBJECT represents a piece of digital media content (e.g., sound file, score image) is enclosed in CONTAINER represents the physical item or set of items on which one or more instantiations of works can be found (e.g., CD, score) is manifested in INSTANTIATION represents a manifestation of a work as a recorded performance or a score WORK represents the abstract concept of a musical composition or set of compositions Current locally-designed model is created by CONTRIBUTOR represents people or groups that contribute to a work, instantiation, or container
    16. 16. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 16 Broder, editor Prepared from autographs in 1960 Mozart, composer Fantasia K.397Sonata K. 279 Horowitz, pianist Uchida, pianist Sonata K. 279 recorded in 1965, Carnegie Hall Fantasia K.397 recorded in 1991, Tokyo, Suntory Hall V2 Data Model: Example CONTAINERS INSTANTIATIONS WORKS CONTRIBUTORS CD Mozart, Piano Works Score Mozart, Piano Fantasia K.397
    17. 17. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 17 Mapping from MARC/AACR2  Different conceptual model is a challenge  V2 = work is focus of description  MARC/AACR2 = publication/release is focus of description  V2 record creation process starts with import from MARC bibliographic records  MARC authority records imported for automatically recognized or cataloger-identified Works  Cataloger manually creates Instantiations of Works, enhances data to fit V2 model
    18. 18. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 18 Variations3 (2005-2008/9)  Funded by a three year IMLS National Leadership Grant  Indiana University:  Digital Library Program  Cook Music Library  Partners:  University of Maryland  Tri-College Consortium: Haverford, Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr  New England Conservatory  The Ohio State University  New York University / New World Records Database of Recorded American Music slide courtesy of Jon Dunn, DLP
    19. 19. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 19  Transform Variations2 into a system that can be deployed by variety of institutions  Add access to licensed music content in addition to locally digitized content  Continue to explore improved searching and browsing capabilities through a new metadata/cataloging model  Develop an organizational model for sustaining the software into the future slide courtesy of Jon Dunn, DLP Variations3 goals
    20. 20. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 20 FRBR as an alternative model  “Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records”  1998 report from IFLA  Conceptual model describing the entities and relationships underlying bibliographic information  Only recently gaining real traction  Open WorldCat is semi-FRBRized  New RDA content standard will be based on FRBR principles
    21. 21. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 21 FRBR Group 1 entities WORK EXPRESSION MANIFESTATION ITEM is realized through is embodied in is exemplified by “the physical embodiment of an expression of a work” “the intellectual or artistic realization of a work” “a distinct intellectual or artistic creation” “a single exemplar of a manifestation” w1 Franz Schubert's Trout quintet -e1 the composer's score -e2 a performance by the Amadeus Quartet and Hephzibah Menuhin on piano -e3 a performance by the Cleveland Quartet and Yo-Yo Ma on the cello -. . . . w1 Harry Lindgren's Geometric dissections -e1 original text entitled Geometric dissections -m1 the book published in 1964 by Van Nostrand -e2 revised text entitled Recreational problems in geometric dissections .... -m1 the book published in 1972 by Dover w1 Ronald Hayman's Playback -e1 the author's text edited for publication -m1 the book published in 1973 by Davis-Poynter -i1 copy autographed by the author
    22. 22. FRBR Group 2 entities
    23. 23. FRBR Group 3 entities
    24. 24. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 24 V3 vs. FRBR – loose mapping Variations2 Entity FRBR Group 1 Entity Work (more concrete than FRBR Work) Work Instantiation (can only appear on one Container) Expression Container (includes some copy-specific data) Manifestation Media Object (defined as a digital file) Item
    25. 25. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 25 Possible benefits of moving to FRBR  Improve system sustainability  Better integration with future catalogs  More easily support cooperative cataloging  Get some other features of the model “free”  Group 2 and 3 entities  User tasks
    26. 26. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 26 Possible drawbacks of moving to FRBR  No approved binding of FRBR conceptual model to a true data structure exists  Unclear what it means to be “FRBR compliant”  We’d have to make up our own data structure based on the standard conceptual model  Our current model is so close to FRBR, it is unclear if the benefits will outweigh the costs
    27. 27. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 27 Current status of switch  FRBR modeling documentation created  Report on applying FRBR to music  Data dictionary (draft)  Schema (draft)  Switch still in proposal stage  Advisors believe it’s a good idea  We don’t know if we have time to implement it as part of current project  Still undecided as to how to model non-musical content
    28. 28. EVIADA From standard model to local model
    29. 29. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 29 EVIADA project  Ethnographic (formerly Ethnomusicological) Video for Instruction and Analysis Digital Archive  Mellon-funded partnership between IU and University of Michigan  Goals  Preserve field video currently stored on researchers’ shelves  Provide access to content of field video for teaching and research
    30. 30. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 30 EVIADA timeline  Phased development  Planning Phase 2001 – 2002  Development Phase 2003 – 2005  Sustainability Phase 2006 - 2009  Metadata model designed and implemented during Development Phase
    31. 31. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 31 EVIADA conceptual model slide courtesy of Will Cowan, EVIADA project
    32. 32. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 32 EVIADA metadata creation  Collection-level MARC record created based on researcher-provided information  Technical and digital provenance metadata captured during digitization/transfer process  Researchers annotate their own video, segmenting into events, scenes, actions  Extended descriptions  Controlled vocabulary in specified categories
    33. 33. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 33 Original metadata model  MODS descriptive metadata  Forthcoming AES audio technical metadata  Slightly revised version of LC video technical metadata  Forthcoming AES process history (digiprov) metadata  METS wrapper
    34. 34. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 34 Use of MODS  One MODS record for each:  collection  event  scene  action  Potentially hundreds of MODS records for each collection
    35. 35. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 35 Challenges for MODS  Much information inherited from event to scene to action  Annotation information is generally more free-form than expected in a structured bibliographic metadata standard  EVIA controlled vocabulary categories didn’t match MODS “subject” elements
    36. 36. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 36 New required functionality stretched MODS usage too far  Text formatting  lists  paragraphs  Glossary  Bibliography  Video technical problems  Transcriptions  Translations
    37. 37. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 37 New internal descriptive model  More naturally matches data as it is recorded by annotators  Hierarchical collection/event/scene/action  Goes beyond “bibliographic” information  timecodes  text markup  internal linking  Still stores technical and process history metadata in standard formats  Could export any needed combination of descriptive and technical/process history metadata together in a single METS wrapper
    38. 38. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 38 Must also provide standard representation  Designed for sharing, not internal representation; therefore can afford to leave things out  EAD  hierarchical, for sharing with archives, although event/scene/action not the normal hierarchy  one document has entire collection hierarchy  MODS  for sharing with libraries  record can be generated for collection, event, scene, action on demand
    39. 39. Lessons learned Or, so, now what?
    40. 40. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 40 Let’s be frank In an environment like IU, there will never be one single solution, even for a relatively narrow class of material
    41. 41. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 41 Assessing standards  Clearly define functional requirements – what functions does your descriptive metadata need to support?  The functional requirements suggest a certain conceptual model to underlie your metadata  Compare existing descriptive metadata structure standards against your functional requirements and conceptual model
    42. 42. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 42 Good practice  Use a standard internally whenever it meets defined functional requirements  When you do choose to develop locally, take as much inspiration as you can from published standards
    43. 43. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 43 The increasing role of conceptual modeling  Trend is toward clearer conceptual models, e.g., DCMI Abstract Model, RDA  Will likely result in better interoperability among metadata standards  Result may be conformance to conceptual models becomes more important than conformance to metadata structure standards
    44. 44. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 44 The bottom line  Every collection/project needs a clearly defined metadata model  Don’t just follow standards and guidelines – understand them  Must have the capability to generate standards- compliant metadata for specific purposes  Internal metadata format almost unimportant if it meets these requirements
    45. 45. 10/31/07 DL Brown Bag Series 45 For more information  These presentation slides: <http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/~jenlrile/presentations/ bbfall07/standards/standardsParadox.ppt>  “Shareable” metadata  OAI Best Practices for Shareable Metadata  Metadata for You & Me  EVIADA <http://www.indiana.edu/~eviada/>  Variations3 <http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/projects/variations3/>

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