Metadata Description

Why do we need metadata?

Digital identification
  • Used to differentiate one object from another
  • Used to identify sets of data
  • Improves scholarly rigour of digital content
Organizing e-resources
  • Organizing links to resources based on audience or topic
  • Building these pages dynamically from metadata stored in database
Resource discovery
  • Allowing resources to be found by relevant criteria
  • Identifying resources
  • Bringing similar resources together
  • Distinguishing dissimilar resources
  • Facilitates citation
Facilitating interoperability
  • Federated searching across collections
  • Allows for sharing and transfer of data by:
    • using defined metadata schemas
    • sharing transfer protocols and crosswalks
Archival preservation and persistence
  • Digital information is fragile and can be corrupted or altered
  • It may become unusable as storage technologies change
  • Metadata is key to ensuring that resources will survive and continue to be accessible into the future:
    • track lineage/provenance
    • detail its physical characteristics and behaviour in order to emulate it in future technologies


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Metadata by York University Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.