Publishers need to focus on metadata

In this article, Philip Jones summarized the discussions of a seminar on The practical application of meaningful metadata, held by the Book Industry Communication in December 2015:

Publishers must participate in the evolution of metadata standards, improve the accuracy of inputting that data, and broaden the access to companies outside of their customer base …. There were also warnings that delays in the digital supply chain could undermine publishers’ efforts to be reactive and create dynamic pricing for their e-books.

George Walkley, from Hachette UK, says Publishers are not as involved in standards organisations as they might be. I can sometimes be the only trade publisher in the room, or one of only two or three. If you want your metadata to be meaningful be involved in shaping the standards behind it.

As libraries’ reliance on publisher metadata records is likely to continue to grow and increase, it is imperative that cataloguing and metadata librarians work with publishers to ensure robust metadata standards and application.  Libraries already have robust standards in place, such as AACR2 (although outdated in many ways), and the newer RDA (more flexible and accommodating to new formats), so there is no need to reinvent the wheel.  In a world of web-scale discovery systems, the focus of a book I’m editing, the importance of robust metadata standards than can bridge different publication fora, formats, databases, and catalogues, is a growing concern.  It’s good to see this acknowledgement from the publishing industry.




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