We are pleased to announce the publication of our guide to Metadata Quality Control, authored by the DRI's Kate McCarthy.
As a national digital repository, the DRI is interested in all aspects of metadata, including quality control. This guide is for managers of libraries and archives, or those who might be indirectly responsible for library and archival facilities within a larger organisation. The guide describes what metadata is, and more importantly, what 'poor' metadata is and how it can have long-term effects on the provision of good services. The document outlines the reasons why poor metadata can occur (while stressing that there is no such thing as a perfect catalogue in any library or archive!).
In this guide, we set out a five-point strategy to deal with the issue of metadata quality control, including an encouragement to align with international best practice, create clear cataloguing guidelines, offer extra training for staff, conduct regular usability tests of the database and regular metadata audits. In order to carry out metadata audits, the guidelines recommend Open Refine, a free open-source data wrangling tool. Open Refine has been used in many Linked Data projects for cultural and heritage data, but is also an excellent facility for exploring samples of an organisation’s metadata, and allowing the easy identification and recording of misspellings and other inconsistencies in catalogue records.
Metadata Quality Control is available for free download on the Publications page, where you will also find the recently released guidelines on preparing Dublin Core metadata for DRI ingest.