Honestly, I was unsure of exactly what metadata was, having only read definitions like that in the “What is Metadata” section of the Dublin Core guide. “Data about data” is not a very helpful definition for me, because it seems terribly broad and gives no hint to the practical demonstration. The Gilliland article, “Introduction to Metadata” was extremely helpful, by providing both examples of how metadata is included with materials, and the purpose for users.
I felt like this list was almost a revelation in my ability to contextualize metadata as a concept:
- certifies the authenticity and degree of completeness of the content;
- establishes and documents the context of the content;
- identifies and exploits the structural relationships that exist within and between information objects;
- provides a range of intellectual access points for an increasingly diverse range of users; and
- provides some of the information that an information professional might have provided in a traditional, inperson reference or research setting.
While I realize that this is one person’s perspective on the use of metadata, it was at this point in the reading that I felt like I at least got what it was about. Her list on the functions of metadata was also really helpful. From the three readings this week, however, I still don’t feel knowledgeable enough on this subject to have any real original thoughts. Perhaps after digesting them for a few hours.