Update from the RDA Metadata Interest Group Co-chairs

24 Apr 2023
Groups audience: 

Dear IG members,
The co-chairs decided not to offer a session at RDA Plenary 20 in Goteborg,
for several reasons:
(a) The work of the group had been somewhat disrupted by COVID;
(b) Plenaries during COVID had not been well attended;
(c) In general, it was observable that requirements had evolved;
(d) Technologies had evolved with new initiatives relevant to metadata
(as just one example, I-Adopt);
Two of the co-chairs at P20 (Rebecca and Keith) spent their time sitting in
on sessions of other groups and talking to people from other groups to get
an informal ‘landscape picture’ of where we are with metadata.
The good news is that just about every group with whom we interacted has
requirements for metadata, and those requirements increasingly require more
complex metadata. The other good news is that RDA participants seem to
realize that ‘library catalog card’ metadata is insufficient and that
metadata with complex structures are required to provide the information
necessary for applications in each domain of interest.
Regarding technology, the big push is towards graph representations of
information structures, particularly knowledge graphs with base
entities/objects (such as a dataset or software service) as vertices/nodes
and relationships between them (with rich semantics) as edges/arcs. Such
representations may use triplestores - with RDF triples or utilize
relational (or object-relational) stores - with n-tuples – as
Thus, the co-chairs propose to restart the work on the MIG metadata element
set (see: https://www.rd-alliance.org/groups/metadata-ig.html ). We
already have some volunteers to act as editors for some of the elements –
please volunteer to join the group around each of the elements in which you
have an interest and where you are willing to contribute to the discussions
(and if there is currently no leader for that element, contact the
co-chairs to offer to do this important coordinating job). This should be
a self-organizing activity (we are all volunteers in this community). The
co-chairs will try to monitor the developing activity and assist as
Metadata with formal syntax and declared semantics are even more necessary
now, to ensure FAIRness but also with the range of application areas
requiring such metadata, and especially to ensure that systems increasingly
utilizing AI (not just the currently popular large language models but more
for data management, analytics, simulation, and visualization) has a basis
in formal logic.
1. Checkout the RDA MIG page
2. Put your name down against metadata elements of interest
(you all have edit access);
3. If you are willing to lead the activity on an element contact the
We look forward to working with you all on this next phase of the work of
Keith Jeffery, Rebecca Koskela & Alex Ball