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Wednesday, November 28, 2007


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Of course library metadata will be a joint effort. Even if publishers miraculously start producing consistent and accurate metadata (or even just the untagged data)in a uniform format across the industry so that libraries can harvest it, it will just be because publishers are using humans to input and verify it. I'm much more confident in a computer's ability to determine appropriate subjects by analyzing text than I am in a computer's ability to differentiate between a title and a subtitle or between the three possible titles on the front page of a lot of conference proceedings. I think there has to be a human involved for quality control, at least. Either that or be willing to accept less accurate and complete metadata.

Chris Schwartz

Alex, thanks for this comment. I agree with you. The picture that's developing for the future work of catalogers and metadata librarians includes quality control of harvested metadata. It's actually a role many of us already have as OCLC members. The quality and extensiveness of records in WorldCat really varies these days (especially for foreign language publications).

So, We will continue to have a quality control role. And, I suppose many more of us will be working for publishers or book vendors.

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    Future of Cataloging: Key Resources (to May 2008)

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