Metadata, collection building and cataloging
Metadata is structured or descriptive information about a resource. It is information that is gathered and recorded about a resource. For DLESE, this means providing information like a title, description, audience, geospatial coverage, keywords, etc. about classroom activities, curriculum, scientific visualizations, lesson plans, data, annotations, collections, images, or news and opportunities, etc. Well-structured metadata integrated with an efficient discovery system promotes targeted searching, browsing and use of such resources by the Earth system science community. Once a resource is “found” in the library, metadata is the information about the resource that is returned to a user. It is also the information that is exchanged with other libraries. Metadata records are the content of DLESE. DLESE does not hold the physical files of resources, only metadata records are held. Therefore, metadata is a key structural component of the library. Technically, DLESE metadata is kept in the form of structured digital records in the eXtensible Markup Language (XML).
Since DLESE provides access to a broad spectrum of resources, different metadata frameworks, ADN, collection, annotation, news and opportunities, have evolved to support the unique characteristics of the resources being described. These frameworks are summarized below.
Collection building is a process conducted over time that builds and shapes a collection into a balanced, cohesive and sought-after set of user materials. Collections are groups of resources (activities, modules, annotation, etc.) organized around a theme, organization, topic, audience, learning strategy or some criteria that can be articulated. Good collection building involves
Cataloging is the act of assembling metadata information about a resource. The goal is to help library users find the most useful resources. Cataloging can be as easy as just providing a title and description or more complex such that library users will be able to
While extensive knowledge of a resource is beneficial to cataloging, it is not required. That being said, a cataloger needs to make an effort to find the necessary information to fully describe a resource. And, a cataloger needs to adhere to cataloging best practices that include using controlled vocabularies correctly and paying heed to the definitions of each field being cataloged.
Last updated: 2005-06-23