Sunday, August 20, 2006

Open Access Archives, Metadata, and Authority Control

It should come as no surprise that the quality of searching in those open access archives will be greatly enhanced through attention to key metadata, such as standardized entry of author names - what we librarians have done for years, in the guise of authority control.

This has come up recently on the American Scientist Open Access Forum under the topic about true names...searching and measuring (look after the end of the alphabet for this topic, as it begins with a non-capitalized letter). Thanks to Librarian and Professor Sheila Corrall at the University of Sheffield for making the connection with authority control.

Those interested in continuing this discussion are invited to do so, at an operationally-oriented open archives list, such as OAI-General - or, perhaps a library-oriented list?

In my opinion, the key values and skills of librarianship - preserving information, making it accessible, organizing it and helping users to find what they need, whether immediately (reference) or at any time (informaiton literacy) - will be every bit as necessary in the open access environment, if not moreso, than in the subscriptions / purchasing world.

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