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Scoping Study Final Report: Aggregations of Metadata about Images and Time-based Media (Films and Sounds)

Guest Post by Sheila Fraser of EDINA

JISC recently funded EDINA to undertake a short (3-month) scoping study to scope the feasibility, viability and value of creating an aggregation of metadata about images and time-based media, i.e. collections of information (e.g. catalogue information) about digital resources rather than collections of digital resources themselves.

The final report is now available and indicates benefits of, and opportunities for, aggregations of metadata describing images and time-based media, and the barriers to having open and shareable metadata for these resources. It also describes a number of scenarios in which aggregations of metadata about images and time-based media would be useful or required, and different models for aggregating metadata.

The report concludes: “Aggregations of metadata about images and time-based media are useful … it is desirable that these metadata be aggregated [and] it is valuable to have digital metadata for physical resources to enable discoverability of related resources”.

The team would like to thank all participants in the consultation process for their time and expertise. To enable further opportunity for contribution from the wide range of stakeholders, feedback on this report is encouraged as part of the consultation exercise. The full report is available at, where comments are welcome. Further project details are at:

Update on current work

Work on realising the resource discovery taskforce (RDTF) vision is well underway. We will be funding the projects that will form the backbone of the work in the next couple of months but we have a couple of interesting projects happening at the moment.

A guide to open bibliographic data

There is a lot of interesting work happening with open bibliographic data at the moment. A number of libraries in Europe have made all their bibliographic data openly available and there is a lively discussion happening on the OKFN mailing list. Karen Coyle’s blog post sums up efforts in this area nicely.

This area is obviously very relevant to the work of the RDTF but it is in the early stages with lots of independent innovation happening all over the place. So we decided to fund a resource that would describe why open bibliographic data is interesting for libraries and to help those who want to engage in this area to do so.

The work is being carried out by Sero consulting, Owen Stephens and Paul Miller. It is a couple of months off finishing at the moment but in the best spirit of openness they have decided to show their working and you can see the prototype for the guide by heading over to Owen’s blog. It is a work in progress and neither the content nor the design is in the final form but you can see where they’re heading.

Aggregations of metadata about images and time based media

Edina are preparing a scoping study to look at the issues involved in created aggregations of metadata about images and time based media. For the RDTF to be useful we need it to cover a wide range of content and institutions. Different content types bring their own challenges and there is a particularly interesting set of challenges for images and time based media. So for the RDTF we need to know more about what those challenges are and how we could go about addressing them. Edina are particularly well placed to to this work due to their experience with the visual sound and media portal.

Sheila Fraser, the project manager has produced a very clear one page summary of the work.

This project is in the information gathering stage and, if this sounds like an area you are interested in, you can get involved by following the instructions below:

We would like to hear from a wide range of people, particularly those who:

  • Use images, films/videos or sounds in learning, teaching or research,
  • Own, curate or manage collections (large and small) that contain images, films/videos or sounds, especially museums, libraries, archives and university departments who hold images or multimedia resources,
  • Work with metadata or collections of metadata in other areas, for example in document or learning repositories or archives,
  • Might be interested in developing collections of metadata for images and time-based media, or
  • Might be interested in in developing services using collections of metadata, or in using collections of metadata e.g. in research.

We invite you to take part in the survey, available at, which should take between 10 and 25 minutes to complete depending on your answers.