Chowdhury and Chowdhury comment that metadata “are created in order to add value to a resource in order to facilitate its discovery, use, sharing and re-use.” This notion that metadata creation is an additive process reminds me of concepts I’ve encountered in another course about how TCP/IP allows computers to communicate. Packets of data generated from an application level get “jacketed” in successive formats that are readable at each stage of transmission. When these packets are sent over a network, the data is unpacked russian doll-style back to the application level by the receiving computer and the difference that the packet represents can be affected. So much of the language of interoperability that we have been reading about seems like an extension of this system: Information objects being couched in metadata schema to translate them between organizational standards.
The complexity of these standards brings up a neat paradox. Librarians render information objects distinct from one another in order to link them to each other in a useful way.