Today I found an interesting paper that thinks about the importance of ‘trustworthy, understandable metadata’ (abstract):
‘Towards a 21st Century Metadata Infrastructure Supporting the Creating, Preservation and Use of Trustworthy Records: Developing the InterPARES 2 Metadata Schema Registry’, Archival Science March 2005, vol 5, pp43-78, Anne Gilliland, Nadav Rouche, Lori Lindberg, Joanne Evans.
The paper quickly comes to the conclusion that the ‘development of a rigorous, unambiguously
delineated metadata infrastructure‘ (p2) is the key to answering such questions as ‘How can creators create reliable electronic records?’; ‘How can archivists accession and process electronic records in such a way as to ensure their reliability?’; and ‘How can we ensure that future users have trustworthy electronic records?’
The rest of the paper deals with possible strategies for developing this rigorous metadata structure and identifies that reliability and authenticity are concerns just as important to the metadata as the records it describes.
The paper briefly reviews the activities of the Inter-
PARES 2 Description Cross-Domain Group, then focuses on the
Group’s development of a resource: a metadata schema
registry and the analytical framework around which it is devised (prototype)
designed to assist archivists and records creators
develop and assess ‘their own and other communities’ metadata
infrastructures as these relate to concerns of reliability, authenticity,
and preservation.’ (p3)
It is perhaps an extension of this resource: Gilliland-Swetland A. & Eppard, P., ‘Preserving the Authenticity of Contingent Digital Objects: The InterPARES Project’ D-Lib Magazine 6 no.7, July 2000. http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july00/eppard/07eppard.html, on the reading list.