The Metadata Ecology

Fostering an ecology of reusable metadata

Discovery is not about finding a single solution, platform or infrastructure for aggregating and serving metadata. Instead we are striving to create the conditions that embrace different approaches to aggregating data, reduce technical and licensing barriers, and enable the creation of value-added services.

The work of Andy Powell and Pete Johnston of Eduserv in establishing High Level Metadata Principles has been pivotal in helping us explore the principles we might espouse, and how the community will respond.

We have worked with our partners to develop the Open Metadata Principles, some overarching technical principles and a practical guide to licensing open data. The aim of this guidance is to help institutions release data for reuse and also enhance the discoverability of their collections. This does not mean establishing a set of pure principles for the community to adhere to, but accepting the complex contexts and supply chains in which we operate.

There are significant cultural differences across the domains, from approaches to managing data, to the standards we use. No single standard or technical approach will obviate these differences. In addition to the principles and guidance mentioned above, the 'Discovery Lessons' are role-based guides which were developed as a result of the Phase One Discovery Projects synthesis work.