One thought on “The 4 main roles of metadata”

  1. John O'Gorman says:

    Well done!

    Given all the things you can do with metadata, the one thing that confuses many practitioners and confounds many data management initiatives is captured in the last sentence of George Firican’s article:

    “A single metadata item can serve multiple roles and it is this fact that increases its value.”

    Take out the word ‘metadata’ and that statement is true of any data item. The problem, of course, is maintaining the integrity of the values when they are used – and reused – in many different places. The answer is to register individual values *once* and assign an identity, a semantic class, and declare equivalent forms in a *context independent* catalog. For example, “John O’Gorman” has an ID of 2a8f33b4147cc7900; a semantic class of Person; and declared equivalents of “O’Gorman, John” and “John D. O Gorman”.

    Then, using the article’s four main roles as a guide, I can use that identifier as metadata anywhere.

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