Meta-data management (also known as metadata management, without the hyphen) involves managing data about other data, whereby this "other data" is generally referred to as content data. The term is used most often in relation to Digital media, but older forms of metadata are catalogs, dictionaries, and taxonomies. For example, the Dewey Decimal Classification is a metadata management system for books developed in 1876 for libraries.
Metadata management can be defined as the end-to-end process and governance framework for creating, controlling, enhancing, attributing, defining and managing a metadata schema, model or other structured aggregation system, either independently or within a repository and the associated supporting processes (often to enable the management of content). For web-based systems, URLs, images, video etc. may be referenced from a triples table of object, attribute and value.
If one is in the process of making a knowledge management solution, creating a metadata schema and developing a system in which metadata is managed are very important. In such a project, a dedicated metadata manager may be appointed in order to maintain adherence to metadata and information management standards. This is a person who will be responsible for the metadata strategy, and possibly, the implementation. A metadata manager does not need to know about and be involved with everything concerning the solution, but it does help to have an understanding of as much of the process as possible to make sure a relevant schema is developed.
Metadata management over time
Managing the metadata in a knowledge management solution is an important step in a metadata strategy. It is part of the strategy to make sure that the metadata are complete, current and correct at any given time. Managing a metadata project is also about making sure that users of the system are aware of the possibilities allowed by a well-designed metadata system and how to maximize the benefits of metadata. Regularly monitoring the metadata to ensure that the schema remains relevant is advised.
Wikipedia is a project that actively manages metadata for its articles and files. For example, volunteer editors carefully curate new biographical articles based on the notability (claim to fame), name, birth, and/or death dates. Similarly, volunteer editors carefully curate new architectural articles based on name, municipality, or geo coordinates. When new articles with a valid alternate spelling are added to Wikipedia that match up to existing articles based on metadata, these are then manually checked and if needed, tagged for merging. When new articles are added that are considered out of scope or otherwise unfit for Wikipedia, these are nominated for deletion. To help keep track of metadata on Wikipedia, the new Wikimedia project Wikidata was established in 2012. Click on the pictures to view more metadata about these images:
- Data Defined Storage
- Metadata discovery
- Metadata publishing
- Metadata registry
- ISO/IEC 11179
- Dublin core