Chapter 4. Metadata Structures and Semantics

Chapter 4 section titles

4.1 Modeling for Metadata
4.1.1 Entity-Relationship Modeling
4.1.2 Ontological Modeling
4.1.3 A Discussion on Encapsulated and Modularized Approach
4.2 Enumerating Metadata Terms
4.2.1 Communicating about the Functional Requirements
4.2.2 Identifying Desired Elements
4.3 Element Set Specification
4.3.1 Basic Components
4.3.2 Presentation
4.3.3 Principles for an Element Set to Follow
4.3.4 Methodologies of Working from an Existing Element Set
4.3.5 Testing the Element Set
4.4 Value Spaces and Value Vocabularies
4.4.1 Value Spaces that Should Follow Standardized Syntax Encoding Rules
4.4.2 Value Spaces that Require Standardized Vocabulary Encoding Schemes
4.4.3 Value Spaces that Should Have Pre-defined Lists of Terms
4.5 Crosswalks
4.5.1 Methods Used in Crosswalking
4.5.2 Aligning Elements with Indicators of Matching Degrees
4.6 Best Practice Guides and Other Content Guidelines
4.6.1 Best Practice Guides
4.6.2 Standard-Specific Guidelines
4.6.3 Community-Oriented Best Practice Guides
4.6.4 Data Content Standards
4.7. Conclusion

Links to sources

Bibliographic Ontology (BIBO). Site | Specification | the BIBO Ontology (php file) ..... 168

Figure 4-1-4 A diagram illustrating the basics of the BIBFRAME model ..... 169

Europeana Data Model (EDM) Documentation EDM Primer ..... 172-173

Figure 4-1-5 Example of DBpedia ontology classes presented in a hierarchy (left side) and a class and its properties (right side) ..... 170

Figure 4-3-1 An entry for the element Display Creation Date from CDWA Lite ..... 179

Figure 4-3-2 Element "dc.contributor" and localized refinement from ETD-MS 1.1..... 185

Figure 4-3-3 Selected elements defined by the National Library of Medicine Metadata Schema ..... 186

Figure 4-4-1 An authority record for "Clinton, Bill" in the FAST Authority File..... 195

Figure 4-4-2 Display of place name entries that match the query "Columbus" in Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN)..... 195

Figure 4-4-3 Display of a TGN authority record for "Columbus, Indiana, USA" ..... 196

Figure 4-5-3 Portion of the crosswalk [ PDF or current html version ]of CDWA to other major metadata vocabularies..... 205

Figure 4-6-1 Examples for the date element provided by VRA Core 4.0 [Please check p.7-9 on this pdf file] ..... 211


Developing a metadata element set (a multipart project)

General instruction:

  • This exercise is designed with group work in mind. All group work should be conducted after the related section in this chapter has been taught and studied.
  • A template for each task is available here (pen another page, either template 1.pdf or template 2.pdf ).
  • A collection of objects could be identified by the instructor or students:
    • An example would be a collection of unused postcards or bookmarks made of different materials, sizes, and shapes, which have been published in different languages, places, and times for different purposes. Treat the items of the collection as the primary resources (i.e., the postcards themselves, not the images on the postcards).
    • Another exercise could be asking everyone in a group to put their smart phones on the table. The group will take up the challenge to create a data structure standard for describing smart phones (see the template).
  • Create two metadata descriptions using your new element set.
  • Share your experience and thoughts with the group.


Caplan, Priscilla. 2003. Metadata Fundamentals for All Librarians, 25−53. Chicago: American Library Association.

Coyle, Karen, and Thomas Baker. 2009. "Guidelines for Dublin Core Application Profiles." DCMI Recommended Resource. http://dublincore.org/documents/profile-guidelines/.

Greenberg, Jane. 2001. "A Quantitative Categorical Analysis of Metadata Elements in Image-Applicable Metadata Schemes." Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 52 (11):917.

Hillmann, Diane I, and Elaine L. Westbrooks Eds. 2004. Part I. Project-Based Implementations. Metadata in Practice. Chicago: American Library Association.

Sutton, Stuart A. 1999. "Conceptual Design and Deployment of a Metadata Framework for Education Resources on the Internet." Journal of the American Society for Information Science 50 (13):1182−92.

Weibel, Stuart. 2005. "Border Crossings, Reflections on a Decade of Metadata Consensus Building." D-Lib Magazine 11 (7/8). doi:10.1045/july2005-weibel. http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july05/weibel/07weibel.html.