Outen: Metadata

Setting The Stage by Anne J. Gilliand states that metadata is “data about data (1).” When I initially saw this claim I began to wonder, how do we know this “data” about another form of data is completely accurate? In other terms, how do we decipher inaccurate or bad metadata from good metadata? Metadata allows information to be saved or well maintained and hold the “legitimate” heavy weight title. According to the article, some examples of metadata are classification, indexing, and cataloging. I came across a video on YouTube titled “What is Metadata (attached below)?,” which provides an interesting and comprehendible description of what metadata is. Other examples of metadata include: the speed of the record, the location of our sun, how record time codes should be de-coded, genres, composers, record labels, photographers, etc. Because I am in love with music, the videos description of metadata within music significantly grasped my attention. While searching for music, I have never asked myself “gee I wonder how I am able to find the artist I am looking for?” or “I wonder how research is so legitimate?” I simply go to google and search the artist’s name, song name, lyrics, or genre of music to find what I am looking for. After reading this article, I officially noticed the importance of metadata.

After reading a few descriptions about metadata, I immediately thought about sources. We need sources from previous authors or scholars to validate our claims. Furthermore, metadata allows us to find the author, record label, or photographer we are looking for and ask permission to utilize their work. Metadata allows us to easily find information so that we aren’t recreating that information, and helps us build off the information we found. Additionally, creating our own metadata, allows others to find and use our information at a much faster and convenient rate, which could be profitable (Youtube).


About Tionna Outen

University Library
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1 Response to Outen: Metadata

  1. Daniel White says:

    I like you’re point about sources for things being metadata. That’s such a relevant application of metadata to us as students, but we probably rarely even think about citations and sources as metadata—most likely because we don’t even know how to classify metadata. However, we learned in class that basically everything that humans interact with and use can be categorized, employed, or classified as metadata. The sources we site for a paper are probably kept in scholarly journals, which are most likely part of an archive or database, which is going to be owned by some organization or library—the list of networks and databases never ends… It’s metadata on metadata on metadata!

    I also totally agree that metadata helps us to “easily find information so that we aren’t recreating that information”, but rather, we are “building off the information we found.” This is a good explanation for viewing sources and citations as metadata.

    – Daniel

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