Just found this JISC final report: MetaTools - Investigating Metadata Generation Tools [pdf]. If you are interested in the automatic generation of metadata and current tools out there for generating Dublin Core metadata, this report is for you.
(It also covers the development of SOAP and RESTful Web Service interfaces for three metadata generation tools.)
This report is very interesting for me (which is why I just printed off all 98 pages!) because this is the direction we are trying to move in for our digital library development at work. We're not there yet, but "iterative development" is the mantra.
It does mean letting go of creating metadata records one at a time as a final product. This is the shift we all keep hearing that catalogers need to make in order to become metadata librarians. Having been a metadata librarian for a year now, I can honestly say it's hard to let go of the old mindset at first. (And depending on your metadata workflow you may not have to.) But I've had to and have survived the process. In fact, I think if I went back to AACR2/MARC cataloging I'd be a better cataloger. Just a thought.