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RE: dwbp-ISSUE-79 (metatype): Discovery vs structural metadata [Best practices document(s)]

From: Makx Dekkers <mail@makxdekkers.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Nov 2014 09:38:46 +0100
To: "'Data on the Web Best Practices Working Group'" <public-dwbp-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001cffb2f$6a500ee0$3ef02ca0$@makxdekkers.com>


This morning, I’ve been trying to dig up the discussion about metadata in the minutes of the F2F in San José. Although it is sometimes hard to understand from the log what was said and why, the impression I get is that we seem to get into some fundamental discussions about what metadata is, what kinds of metadata are relevant, and what metadata should be provided in an ideal world.


Although I do think these are very interesting topics – after all, I have been participating in similar discussions for a couple of decades ;) – I fear we might not reach consensus on a practical level any time soon. I would suggest to take it from a different angle, and look at what kind of advice publishers of data would be looking for.


In my mind, the best practice for metadata should give some simple guidelines on the highest level.


Something like:


*         Provide as much information about the data as you possibly can.


*         Try to provide at least information about:


o   What the data represents

o   Where it is

o   Who is responsible for it

o   How the data is (technically) expressed

o   What you can do with the data


*         Publish metadata with a level of quality and granularity, and in a format that is expected to be useful for the intended audience. On this issue, we need to acknowledge that specific applications may need specific metadata that is not covered by a general standard like DCAT. Maybe we can suggest that publishers use DCAT for general properties, or alternatively, map to DCAT from similar properties in a domain-specific, application-specific or resource-specific metadata approach.


If we can work towards such a top-level set of recommendations, people who feel like it can spend time – and lots of it ;) – to dig deeper into defining types of metadata, identifying specific properties needed for specific types of usage, building application profiles for provenance data, etc., etc. This additional detail may still be in scope for the working group, but maybe we can move this to a later time.


And please, let’s not try to define mandatory minimum sets of metadata properties. My experience is that for almost every property you declare mandatory, someone can come up with a valid case where the information cannot be provided. Even in the five bullets above, some publishers might not have information about every category, but we should not discourage publication of that data – users might not care about missing information or they might have other ways to find out the bits of information that are missing.





From: Christophe Guéret [mailto:christophe.gueret@dans.knaw.nl] 
Sent: Friday, November 07, 2014 9:23 AM
To: Data on the Web Best Practices Working Group
Subject: Re: dwbp-ISSUE-79 (metatype): Discovery vs structural metadata [Best practices document(s)]



Digital archives also define several type of metadata (not sure how many). Would it be a good idea to align this with their definitions? 


Sent with difficulties. Sorry for the brievety and typos... 

Op 6 nov. 2014 22:22 schreef "Data on the Web Best Practices Working Group Issue Tracker" <sysbot+tracker@w3.org <mailto:sysbot%2Btracker@w3.org> >:

dwbp-ISSUE-79 (metatype): Discovery vs structural metadata [Best practices document(s)]


Raised by: Phil Archer
On product: Best practices document(s)

At TPAC we made the distinction between discovery metadata and structural metadata. This needs to be reflected in the BPs.
Received on Saturday, 8 November 2014 08:39:17 UTC

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