About RUcore: Fedora Metadata

Table of Contents

Metadata is "data about data" that is structured for consistency and clarity. Metadata only has meaning and value in relation to the information it describes.

Metadata is used to:

Each of these types of metadata provides a wealth of information that must be consistent across all information objects and durably linked to the object itself.

The libraries utilize an open standard maintained by the Library of Congress-METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard) to maintain all the metadata necessary to manage, preserve and make available information. [4] METS concatenates all types of metadata with the information object in a standardized XML envelope for easy management and transport. The Rutgers University Libraries provide a web application for any Rutgers information creator to submit digital objects into the repository and to create metadata for their information objects. This tool-the Workflow Management System-is currently in test and will be available for use by the Rutgers scholarly community in early 2006.

The underlying data model and metadata architecture allow faculty to customize metadata to support their context of use, while at the same time conforming to the context-independent data model that will support other researchers who may discover and use the information in a very different area of study.

Fedora supports sophisticated access to information through the creation of "intelligent objects." The information object is linked to behaviors (disseminators), which launch access procedures whenever the digital object is retrieved. Examples of disseminators include:

In a future version of the Fedora architecture, the digital collection owner (a faculty member or publisher at Rutgers) will be able to select and assign disseminators to different types of objects using a web form, test the resulting displays and make changes to disseminators. Every aspect of information management through Fedora will ultimately be personalized, using simple web input forms and menus.

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