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5 Cool Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Metadata
This was originally presented at BISG Making Information Pay 2015 as part of IDPF and BEA. This presentation covers 5 metadata themes--recommend, visualize, diagnose, acknowledge, and automate--showing cool uses of metadata on websites geared toward readers and through ONIX.
While this presentation is titled 5 cool things you didn’t know you could do with metadata, I want to point out that these are 5 themes. There are many more cool things to show than just 5.
With metadata you can Recommend, Visualize, Diagnose, Acknowledge, and Automate.
I start with recommendations which are very popular.
Libraries use their online catalogs to drive the usage of the books the library has purchased. The data is typically created where publishers have gaps in their metadata or where a unique product is created to meet the needs of customers.
Most retail and library sites typically have recommendations. For retailers, it is often based on other customer purchases, which are easy to generate by algorithms but may not be relevant to the user. In the case of libraries, the lists are generally curated rather than created by machine. In this case Novelist linked these items.
This library site allows users to search by content descriptors including the pace, tone, and writing style of the work. All tags curated by the library service provider. This is another Novelist product.
Booksellers are also doing cool things with Recommendation metadata.
Novelry is offering options for readers to explore titles in different ways to encourage purchase. You can quickly identify the characters in a book or the setting of the book in addition to the subject matter.
Bitlit, who you will hear more about later in the day, is matching metadata to customer’s photographs of their bookshelves to suggest ebook purchases. Tagging your print metadata with relevant ebook ISBN is key to the success of this site. This can be done in ONIX.
There are also discovery services that encourage reading and browsing.
Word clouds are a popular search interface and these are driven by keyword metadata. These clouds as shown in Bowker Books In Print provide a different user experience than subject browsing. I like the terms “falling in love” and “false accusations”. They are much more intriguing than BISAC subjects!
Which Book out of the UK has an interesting way of suggesting titles by theme. I love these reading list titles “weird and wonderful” “laugh your pants off”.
Here is an example of user generated metadata.
Artifact, shown here in app form, makes it easy for teachers to find books related to themes and learning objectives. Teachers take surveys, such as “tell us 10 books you use to teach inventiveness”. Then the site offers users curated lists on these topics.
You can see other topics below inventiveness, such as Perseverance, Quest for discovery, and Dreaming.
I hope you are starting to see that metadata expands beyond what publishers typically put in their ONIX today.
That said, there are opportunities to maximize the metadata in ONIX for recommendations. It is the plus selling of metadata. Let’s look at some publisher websites and match them to ONIX.
This publisher is selling series sets. By including that information the contained item composite in ONIX, they are maximising discovery for all customers.
Ancillary materials Can also be sent in the related item composite of ONIX. This allows your customers to also merchandise these items together on their websites. Making edition information available allows your customers to substitute new items for old.
Both educational and trade publishers can also leverage metadata to market their titles directly to teachers, and parents. In this case, the publisher has tagged their book with Leveling information, Common Core State Standards dot nation, which is used by school districts in many US states, and the BISG Educational Taxonomy codes, which itemize learning objectives for this title. All of these metadata elments, assist in discovery and can be supplied in ONIX.
My second theme is visualizations.
Libraries seem to be doing some cool things with title related visualizations.
This visual bookshelf, from the NC State University Libraries, uses dewey decimal call numbers and book cover images to display related titles. It gives the user a great browsing experience and let’s them link directly into ebrary to read the content.
Here is my public library’s, in Morris Co NJ, catalog which shows the library locations where I can pick up this title. And it helps me judge, in this case, that I would have to travel miles to get the only available copy of this book. And also helps me visualize the number of bookstores I will pass before I get to that library. Making me think it would be easier to just buy a copy.
This publication date search from the ProQuest Summon Search interface is also really cool. Just drag the white balls across the bar to narrow or expand your publication date range. The search results reset instantly to match the new publication date range. What a great way to manipulate metadata.
Next let’s take a look at author metadata.
These author profiles on the ACM digital library really help me determine if this author is well known by highlighting their publication and citation counts. It also gives me an idea of the popularity of this article by sharing download info. As a researcher, this metadata is very valuable.
The VIAF website from OCLC ties all various forms of author’s name into a single authority record. This is done via the International Standard Name Identifier, or ISNI. I like the fact that the originating country/language is noted next to each entry with the flag image. Effectively this is a name authority file for this contributor tied to all of the various Marc records for her books.
The French national library also uses ISNI. They collate all works for a given contributor, indicating the type of role the author played in the work. Enid Blyton is listed as the author for over 1K titles and the author for the adaptations Of over 400 works.
In addition, they relate contributors to each other. Here we see that James Patterson has had 19 different translators for his works.
You can also use diagnose issues across your metadata, giving you a macro view of your titles.
So my third theme is Diagnose.
First you want to check your metadata prior to sending it out to ensure you are not circulating errors or missing data.
Somewhat obvious is to search for missing data fields. But field population is not the only criteria to measure yourself by. In some cases, you need to measure your data more intelligently. Some examples that Bowker uses are reviews of Age information against Audience codes. If the Audience is Trade, why would you list an upper age of 7? Further, we tend consider TOC missing from nonfiction titles only. I encourage you to cross check your metadata fields to diagnose issues.
This chart shows the Main BISAC codes for a single publisher for their Q3 2015 releases. Not only does it show 4 titles do not yet have subjects, but 17 have a general educational code. JUV19000 is also popular as is FIC19000. The publisher may benefit from reviewing these titles to determine if more defined subjects would be better. More detailed codes, could mean fewer search results, and better discoverabililty of these new releases.
When creating metadata in ONIX, you should always validate the files before sending them out. This screen shot is for a file I validated in XMLSpy. This shows the file is valid against the ONIX schema Some publishers have developed methods for validation within their own systems. ONIX conversion houses, such as Firebrand Technologies, BooksONIX, and Giant Chair also have systems that notify you of missing information prior to your ONIX file being created. If you do not check each record before it leaves your office, then implement this as a top priority.
BISG, working in conjunction with BookNet Canada, is relaunching their Product Certification program soon. The new program will use Relatively Complex Rules, Product Form Based Rules, and ONIX 2.1 / 3.0 Rules to provide publishers feedback on their ONIX files.
My 4th cool theme is Acknowledge.
You can also acknowledge metadata, but this is probably one of our weaker practices in the book industry.
Once you validate and send your data, how do you know it was picked up and processed?
If you are not already doing so, it is a good idea to spot check your metadata on customer sites to look for errors. At Bowker we see issues where publishers do not have ISBNs in their system, but the ISBNs were used years ago on another title. This can lead to some serious confusion. Spot checking will help you identify any weirdness in your metadata.
If you have legal issues, don’t wait for ONIX to do it’s work. Just call or email your receivers to ensure the changes are processed quickly. Removing metadata points is tricky, this is another reason to call. Or if you just need to trace the source of an error you are seeing on customer sites, then address the issue outside of ONIX to be certain it will be cleared up.
While some data recipients supply email acknowledgement when files are picked up on the FTP, more can be done.
Editeur recently released ONIX Acknowledgement messages, which are a way for senders and receivers to communicate information on ONIX file processing and errors found within the ONIX file. So far, this has only been tested in other markets, but Bowker is in discussions with some ONIX publishers to develop and test this in our market. Since we already have automated file loading and reports, I am hoping this will provide information for testing the acknowledgment. Other receivers may also want to consider the validations they already do to see if some of the work for ONIX acknowledgments may already be available.
I want to point out some issues that can occur with simultaneous data processing. Some data recipients have web portals where a publisher can update metadata records.
It is imperative that if you update a piece of information, such as price, this way, that you also immediately update your ONIX. Otherwise you have created a conflict. In this example where the price is updated to $799, but the ONIX file released this morning and not yet processed contained $755. The ONIX will just overwrite that web portal update. So ensure you sync your metadata to eliminate processing errors.
Another cool thing you can do with metadata is to create it via automated processes. So Automate is my 5th theme.
Having tags within a work, either via an XML workflow, EPUB, or what are sometimes termed “smart” PDFs allow for automation of metadata creation.
When I say tagging, I mean applying styling to headers, chapters, tables of contents as the book is created.
Once the metadata tags are in place for each header and section and identifiers (ISBN, DOI, etc.) are assigned. New content chunks can be created and a publisher instantly has more products they can make available. On this publisher site, customers can mix and match their content.
What is cooler than increasing your potential income with little extra manual work!
Machines use tagged content to create bibliographies. It has existed for awhile at the university level, but it is also now at the K-12 level. There is nothing cooler to a student than eliminating extra steps in their work.
In addition, tagging can be used to identify citations or references within a piece of content. On the ACM Digital Library site, we see places where the current content is cited. As a student this gives me leads for further references, aiding discovery.
Indexing is another function done efficiently by machine.
Trajectory has built a system to analyze epub files to calculate factors such as word counts, complexity, reading levels, sentiment, and intensity. They are also able to identify the contextual use of keywords. This is a huge amount of metadata that was created by machine. This is really cool info for readers!
The Summon Service by ProQuest indexes content from publishers and matches it against library holdings to make books more discoverable.
This process results in a search engine just for library holdings. And users can click through to publisher websites to view or purchase the content. For college students, less work to get to the content is very cool!!
Another huge opportunity is for linking across websites.
Schema.org allows you to embed tags on your website specifically relevant to books. BISG is working on a mapping or crosswalk from ONIX to Schema.org which will allow publishers to leverage their ONIX work to improve the SEO of your individual book pages on your site.
In this example, Worldcat is also experimenting with external linking via schema.org. They link out to external author, subject, and location records available on the web. Depending on the links one uses within Schema.org, such links can lead to future integration of library sites to retailer and publisher sites. How cool would that be to have all site integrated via hyperlinks. I could travel from a review site to a library site to a publisher site seamlessly.
I hope you share my enthusiasm for metadata and I hope you pursue many more cool things through your own metadata.
5 Cool Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Metadata
5 Cool Things You Didn't Know You
Could Do With Metadata