Friday, February 4, 2011

Metadata guidelines for the UK RDTF

Andy Powell and Pete Johnston, of Eduserv, with funding from JISC, have put up some high level draft guidelines for "how metadata associated with library, museum and archival collections should be made available for the purposes of supporting resource discovery in line with the Resource Discovery Taskforce (RDTF) Vision."

See the guidelines at

They are taking comments on the draft until Feb. 18.

You can read Powell's and Johnston's own commentary/announcement at their joint blog, eFoundations, at

A few quotes from the guidelines.

"These guidelines have been developed such that they:

1. support the RDTF Vision;
2. are compatible with the outcomes of the JISC IE Technical Review meeting in London, Aug 2010;
3. are in line with Linked Data principles as far as possible;
4. are compatible with the W3C Linked Open Data Star Scheme;
5. are in line with Designing URI Sets for the UK Public Sector;
6. take into account the Europeana Data Model and ESE;
7. are informed by mainstream web practice and search engine behaviour and are broadly in line with the notion of “making better websites” across the library, museum and archives sectors."

"The guidelines are intended to help libraries, museums and archives expose existing metadata (and any new metadata that is created using existing practices) in ways that 1) supports the development of aggregator services and that 2) integrates well with the web of data. The intention is not to change existing cataloguing practice in libraries, museums and archives."

"RDTF metadata should be made openly available using one or more of three approaches, referred to below as the community formats approach, the RDF data approach and the Linked Data approach."

For what it is, it looks good. Powell and Johnston "believe that by putting this guidance in place it will be possible to create significantly more coherence in the way that metadata is created, managed and used across the library, archives and museum sectors than is currently the case."