Macar Strategy Plan 2009


1. Achievements

  • MACAR has developed a vocabulary of resource types, and a guide to properties. Additional vocabularies are added as required

* Crosswalk mappings.

* An open Wiki for communications and education of the repository community has been developed by MACAR. This site includes a forum for discussion.

* A survey of the ARROW community indicated widespread takeup of the vocabularies.

* The National Library has expressed support for the work of MACAR in building a consistent vocabulary for harvest. MACAR’s work forms a foundation for consistency within National Discovery Service.

* The ARC has sought advice from MACAR in determining the ERA vocabulary

* Individual repository managers have contacted MACAR on an as-needs basis when advice on metadata standards is required.

2. Vision

  • As information from repositories develops and aggregates, there is a need for detailed thinking about metadata. There are many metadata schemas and there is much development on different data models. This is a time of considerable development. A body such as MACAR can ensure that the community develops in a way which takes advantage of the latest developments in metadata.

* MACAR undertook a survey of repository managers to gauge the use of the vocabulary. The survey resulted in positive feedback confirming the use of the vocabularies. The number and scope of those vocabularies should increase.

* The structure of objects in repositories is directly determined by different metadata schemas and by developments such as ORE. MACAR can continue to advise on appropriate object and content models.

* Seek to maximise consistency in metadata across all repository platforms to support interoperablity and ensure the community is aware of relevant international standards.

* MACAR has a strong role to play in providing expert advice on metadata and vocabularies to support the Australian Research Council and its implementation of ERA.

* There is a continuing need for consistency in vocabulary for harvesting purposes.

* Education role in distilling and informing the community

* Work with ANDS to develop metadata standards for datasets and new content types.

3. Options for the future

3.1. No structure

. MACAR may have done as much as it needs to do, and need no formal structure at all in the future. A conversation space has been established on the Wikidot, and this includes a forum where discussions can take place. There would be nobody to liaise with HERDC/ARC, nor any formal recommendations on consistency for harvest by ADT, NLA, and Google. There would be no place for formal agreement and recommendations on vocabularies.

3.2. Part of ANDS.

There will be some metadata requirements by ANDS but this might not be the place where metadata for repositories can be discussed.

3.3. Proposed new Repository Support office

It is suggested that a new Repository Support Office be established under the auspices of CAUL, hosted at an institution to be decided. A MACAR Committee could be established and managed through that office. A MACAR Steering Committee might comprise a small group nominated by the University Librarians. Four key people? The Steering Committee will identify work that needs doing, and monitor all new metadata requirements arising from government or institutional activities. Membership of the Steering Committee should include a representative from each of the universities.

Tasks required of an office might include

* Management of a budget
* Organisation of meetings (phone and face to face) including travel, secretariat
* Maintenance of the wiki, and other places for promulgation of recommendations

Tasks required of a steering committee might include:

* Keeping up to date with international metadata trends
* Ensuring an understanding of metadata/vocabulary requirements across all Australian repositories
* Providing a point of contact for members of the repository community seeking advice and recommendations on metadata/vocabularies
* Providing a point of contact with the relevant government authorities to ensure that there is consistency in the use of metadata for both descriptive and HERDC/other requirements
* Providing a point of contact with the National Library of Australia to ensure that that there is consistency in description for harvesting from repositories
* Providing a point of contact with ADT to ensure that theses are described consistently
* Ensuring that recommendations are open and easily available to the communities and authorities who need them. Includes:

  • Papers for publication
  • Wikidot pages and forum management
  • ALIA website
  • ARROW website
  • Attendance at relevant conferences
  • Liaison with similar bodies

3.4. Standards Australia – IT 19

Under the new Standards Australia business model new relationships are able to be established with sectoral organisataions and Standards Australia and its commitees. An appropriate relationship with IT-19 and MACAR could be explored.

Membership of Standards Australia’s IT 19 committee would lend weight to MACAR recommendations. There should be at least one member of the MACAR Steering Committee on the IT 19 Committee.

4. Membership

Review of members, suggested additional members. Call for additional members formally. Levels of membership – corresponding members, core members. Non University membership. International members?

5. Relationships

SE Asia. New Zealand? DC scholarly communications. ACOC.

Recommend a half time person.

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Strategy Survey September 2009

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