Calling content collection owners!

29 April 2013

Do you, or does your Department, own a 'content collection'? For the uninitiated, a content collection is any collection of useful, archival, or scholarly content in physical or digital format - such as theses, articles, photographs, business documentation, websites or web-based portals.

If you own such a collection - and there are likely to be many on our campuses - the Metadata Working Group (MWG) would like to hear from you.

Jointly managed by UCT Libraries and Information and Communication Technology Services (ICTS), the MWG was formed to implement and manage the Metadata and Information Architecture Policy, one of the Council-approved governance policies developed by UCT's Enterprise Content Management (ECM) programme.

The policy aims to ensure that all content objects generated and managed by UCT have metadata that meets international standards and is applied consistently.

Co-chaired by Libraries' Mandy Noble and ICTS's Jenny Wood, the MWG aims to implement the policy by assisting those responsible for content collections to manage and apply metadata to their collections. They explain that 'metadata' refers to the structured information provided in the records that describes objects in a collection and facilitates their retrieval.

"The addition of standardised metadata optimises the sharing of information between related initiatives and portals," says Noble. "Accurate and consistent metadata enables the content to be retrieved easily, thus making it accessible to a wider, international community." Wood adds that in the future UCT's Open Content/Open Data policy may require content to be easily discoverable, for research reproducibility. "Adding metadata to your collection will prepare you for this next step," she said.

"However, before the MWG can help, we need to know how many content collections exist at UCT, who manages or owns these collections, and what their needs are in terms of metadata and information and communication technology (ICT) support," Wood added.

Alerting the campus community to a questionnaire that will be sent out soon, Noble and Wood requested collection owners' cooperation in completing and returning the questionnaires. If you do not receive a questionnaire, and are a collection owner, please assist the MWG by requesting a copy, by emailing Jenny Wood or Mandy Noble.

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