Understanding Users' Metadata Needs: How Do We Know What They Want?

Jeanette Norris


Descriptive metadata should match users’ expectations of the information that is available to search against. The methodology used for the research discussed in this presentation focuses on how users describe books outside of the context of an existing search interface. It represents an effort to isolate and identify salient types of information and then to compare them with library data and standards to determine how much users’ descriptions and catalogers’ descriptions overlap. This presentation will focus on an analysis of the methodology used in this and other similarly constructed studies, preliminary findings based on the data that was gathered during the pilot study, and ideas for how the type of information gathered through these types of studies could be used to assess metadata practices and inform the creation of descriptive metadata standards.