W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-digipub-ig@w3.org > September 2014

RE: [METADATA] Governance/authority (ISSUE-2)

From: Madans, Phil <Phil.Madans@hbgusa.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:03:53 +0000
To: LAURA DAWSON <ljndawson@gmail.com>, Graham Bell <graham@editeur.org>, "Liam R E Quin" <liam@w3.org>
CC: "Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken" <tsiegman@wiley.com>, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, "Bill Kasdorf" <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>, Madi Weland Solomon <madi.solomon@pearson.com>
Message-ID: <7d67b06817a84d6892189694f3cd2233@BN1PR06MB104.namprd06.prod.outlook.com>
I would agree and thank you, Laura, for articulating one of the very real values of your traditional publishers:)

And so I would further Liam's point: "...metadata is used by people who are metadata experts but not necessarily computer experts." Metadata is also used by people who are neither metadata experts nor computer experts.  The most important people: The consumers, patrons, authors, editors, etc. That's who I worry about. There was a time when we wanted to market to as broad an audience as possible, the shotgun approach,  but now we tell our editors to be as specific as possible so they can connect with their consumers and their  books don't get lost amid the hundreds of thousands of other titles being released every year. It isn't a technology issue.  It is a people issue. And now that we have educated our editors, they want to  know why they can't change their metadata today and have it propagated throughout the web immediately.

I think we also need to remember that ONIX was created as a B2B solution.  It was and is a way for publishers to send metadata to other members of the supply chain, who would take that metadata and interpret it for their consumers-and that would very much depend on who their consumers are. For instance, the metadata I send is changed by recipients who service the library market because they feel my metadata is aimed at the trade consumer (which it is) and not a library buyer. This is especially true for children's books. Anyway there was always this intermediary that vetted the metadata before it got to the consumer.  And that still goes on and is the complexity Laura first mentioned about ingest and display control on the part of the recipient.  And that is not necessarily a bad thing. If some senders are sending descriptions using XHTML and some (most) are using CDATA, or if some send author bios as other text and others as part of the contributor composite, somebody has to resolve these differences into a coherent display. And that includes the page count example as well.

What we are talking about is taking our metadata directly to the consumer and that is a very different proposition. So we have to be very careful about the complexity of the metadata and how it is structured. And we need to keep in mind the audience for the metadata and what they use it for-as Graham said. This is more contextual than technical, I think.


Phil Madans | Executive Director of Digital Publishing Technology | Hachette Book Group | 237 Park Avenue NY 10017 |212-364-1415 | phil.madans@hbgusa.com<mailto:david.young@hbgusa.com>

From: LAURA DAWSON [mailto:ljndawson@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 10:22 AM
To: Graham Bell; Liam R E Quin
Cc: Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken; Ivan Herman; W3C Digital Publishing IG; Bill Kasdorf; Madi Weland Solomon
Subject: Re: [METADATA] Governance/authority (ISSUE-2)

And that complexity is why ONIX is almost never used properly by either senders or receivers - the context almost universally is mis-matched.

What we're seeing is the increasing datafication of a business that until quite recently resisted attempts at quantification. And we're seeing it reaching down into levels that include people who have actively resisted quantification - so they are confronted with begrudgingly having to do things for reasons they don't always understand. We see this with self-published authors all the time - they fill out metadata forms with the least amount of information possible because the process is unpleasant - not realizing that their reluctance to provide information means their book won't get discovered and nobody will buy it.

From: Graham Bell <graham@editeur.org<mailto:graham@editeur.org>>

Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 7:59 AM
To: Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org<mailto:liam@w3.org>>
Cc: Laura Dawson <ljndawson@gmail.com<mailto:ljndawson@gmail.com>>, "Siegman, Tzviya - Hoboken" <tsiegman@wiley.com<mailto:tsiegman@wiley.com>>, Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org<mailto:ivan@w3.org>>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org<mailto:public-digipub-ig@w3.org>>, Bill Kasdorf <bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com<mailto:bkasdorf@apexcovantage.com>>, Madi Solomon <Madi.Solomon@pearson.com<mailto:Madi.Solomon@pearson.com>>
Subject: Re: [METADATA] Governance/authority (ISSUE-2)

On 16 Sep 2014, at 00:15, Liam R E Quin wrote:

On Mon, 15 Sep 201418:11:39 -0400

Page count is another one of those troublesome fields. :)

I have my trusty copy of McKerrow on hand for bibliography and citing collations :-)

Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/


This is interesting in the context of a discussion about complexity -- and though the following comes from the print book world, it maybe helps illustrate...

The point about page counts (extents) that Laura hints at is that the correct page count depends who you are. If you are in a publisher's editorial department, then you'll remember to count the roman numbered pages (the 'prelims'). If you are a member of the public, most likely you won't -- you'll just look at the highest numbered page. If you are in production, and responsible for ordering the paper, then you'll count the prelims, the main body of the book, the end matter, the blank and unnumbered pages at the end, and you might also remember to count the unnumbered pages in a plate section (a special insert for photographs, which is usually unnumbered because you can't always predict at which point in the book it will be bound in). None of these views is wrong -- the seemingly simple question 'What is the page count?" has several correct answers, each of them contextual.

ONIX appears complex (no, I'll say it, it is complex) because it allows any or all of these correct answers to be given. But it defines each answer reasonably carefully -- so you can provide a page extent without the prelims, with the prelims, counting or not counting the index, without the blanks, with the blanks, with the plate section, and so on -- and the data recipient can be sure which answer(s) you are giving. There is a controlled vocabulary of 'extent types'. It even allows extents to be given in minutes (for audiobooks) or in words (potentially useful for web publications and reflowable e-books, though right now, lack of familiarity with word counts means that non-specialists can't really judge whether an 60,000 word novel is relatively short or relatively long).


Graham Bell

Tel: +44 20 7503 6418

EDItEUR Limited is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no 2994705. Registered Office: United House, North Road, London N7 9DP, UK. Website: http://www.editeur.org

This may contain confidential material. If you are not an intended recipient, please notify the sender, delete immediately, and understand that no disclosure or reliance on the information herein is permitted. Hachette Book Group may monitor email to and from our network.
Received on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 16:04:26 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 25 April 2017 10:44:20 UTC