Making Metadata Better: AAUP Annual Meeting & Conference 2012

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Session on book metadata for academic publishers held at annual AAUP meeting in Chicago 2012.

Session on book metadata for academic publishers held at annual AAUP meeting in Chicago 2012.

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  • (1) Good Afternoon, today I want to talk libraries which is a segment somewhat ignored here at this meeting in recent years. Important nevertheless since there is a lot going on in the library world.
    Any businesses connected to the publishing industry is experiencing change and increasing complexity: Libraries are no different.


  • 1. Michael Cairns Managing Partner Information Media Partners Making Metadata Better AAUP Annual Meeting 2012
  • 2. Historical Perspective  ISBN  Bowker  ONIX  Google book project  BISG – eBook study  BISG Uses of metadata study 2
  • 3. M is the new P  “Place” is no longer physical  Web page  Mobile device  Email/Pushed  “Product” increasingly  Unique  Individual  Virtuan/Linked  Only ‘physical’ when delivered  Promotion  Depends on finding ‘real-time’ information: “I’ll look it up online”  Price  Presumption of change rather than static 3
  • 4. Findings from eBook Metadata Study (2010)  “Bad Practice” structurally embedded  Enablers at all levels  Definitions and nomenclature inconsistently applied  Messaging and communication unclear  Business case unclear  Definition of product unclear  ISBN relevance challenged  Library market is problematic  Bibliographic metadata substandard  Solution(s) not obvious 4
  • 5. Bad Practice is Embedded  No ISBN at all  Print ISBNs assigned to eBook versions  One ISBN assigned for all eBook file formats  Unique ISBNs assigned to individual (production) file formats  Unique ISBNs assigned to platform specific versions  Proprietary (non-publisher) ISBNs assigned to eBooks  Proprietary (non-ISBNs) identifier assigned to eBooks  EANs assigned to e-Book content  “Made-up” numbers 5
  • 6. Bibliographic Metadata substandard  Larger ‘trade houses’ print metadata OK  eBook metadata consistently poor: Complete, Consistent, Current – fails on all counts  Separate e-and p-metadata processes  Synchronization  “Data rot”  Outsourced e-Book metadata  ONIX 3.0 partial answer, but roll-out is slow  Mechanics of ‘managing data’ substandard  Update process  Add/changes/deletes  “Four days to process a file”  Work ID 6
  • 7. Use of Metadata: High-Level findings (2012)  Publisher concerns with modified, added data: risk of bad data  Recipients report continued weakness in supplied metadata  Separate feeds for physical and digital products  As a standard, ONIX is significantly forked  Metadata is added to improve discovery and purchase  In the U.S., ONIX 3.0 is off to a slow start 7
  • 8. Use of Metadata: Process opportunities (2012)  Compare metadata to the actual product  Create stronger feedback loops  Confirm shared metadata definitions  Articulate what happens with updates  Improve transparency on alterations and modifications 8
  • 9. Use of Metadata: “Future-proof” metadata (2012)  Automate data workflows  Prepare for more frequent updates (especially price)  Harmonize metadata workflows for print and digital products  Discontinue use of style tags  Engage new supply chain entrants 9
  • 10. Market Observations  Disaggregating content: Articles, chapters, cases, etc.  Limited xml content  Combination of pdf formats  Metadata generally high level  Very few publishers with chapter level metadata  Abstracts, Key words, bios, synopsis, etc.  Best seller information 10
  • 11. Anticipating the challenge of changes in education  Managing the cost of education & materials  Faculty and educators demand more choice  Seeking intuitive and flexible content creation processes  Expect to share content and collaborate across ‘networks’  Migration to electronic delivery of content  Growth of open access and ‘free’ content  Growing expectation for highly customizable solutions for publishers and institutions. 11
  • 12. Thank you & Questions? Michael Cairns Twitter: @personanondata 908 938 4889