Using Metadata Record Graphs to Understand Digital Library Metadata

Mark E. Phillips, Oksana L. Zavalina, Hannah Tarver


Digital collections in cultural heritage institutions are increasingly digitizing physical items, collecting born-digital items, and making these resources available online. Metadata plays a crucial role in the discovery and management of these collections, which makes it important to identify areas of metadata improvement. A number of frameworks and associated metrics support metadata evaluation but this paper focuses on a less-studied aspect of accessibility by using traditional network analysis to understand the connections between metadata records created through shared data values, in elements such as subject or creator. The goal of the research reported in this paper is to investigate potential uses of network analysis and to determine which metrics hold the most promise in effective assessment of metadata at the database or collection level. We introduce the Metadata Record Graph and analyze how it can be used to better understand various-sized collections of metadata.

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