Macarminutes22 05 2007


Metadata Advisory Committee for Australian Repositories (MACAR) Inaugural Meeting 1

22nd May, 2007, Qantas Business Centre, Melbourne Airport, 10.00 – 3.00


KB - Katie Blake - ARROW Central (Co convenor)

JG - Joan Gray - ARROW Central (Co convenor) & (Minute taker)

AL - Angela Lang - ARROW Central

CB - Chris Blackall - APSR

AH - Ann Huthwaite - Eprints

NG - Neil Godfrey - Rubric

SM - Susanne Moir - State Library of NSW

JB - John Butera - Swinburne University

TR - Tom Ruthven - UNSW/ADT

KS - Kate Sergeant - University of SA

AD - Alison Dellit – National Discovery Service

Apologies: Simon McMillan (University of New England)

1. Welcome and introductions

KB welcomed everyone and thanked them for attending MACAR’s inaugural meeting. Allison Dellit attended on behalf of the National Library of Australia, ARROW Discovery Service.

2. Overview of current activities and priorities

KB invited members to give a short presentation on the current state of thinking about metadata requirements for their repositories and identify key issues and priorities for the repository community.

ARROW - KB gave a summary of the history and development of the central register of metadata elements, the companion MARCXML templates, and the use of these to develop the VALET web self-submission tool. She noted that when ARROW started there was very little documentation and tools available. The 4 founding partner institutions got together and started thinking about metadata standards, kinds of digital objects to include in their repositories, content models, available tools and came up with the current documentation and tools. Noted that these filled requirements of the time but need substantial revision.

ADT – TR identified areas of interest as resource types. There currently are many variations in terminology. He is interested in achieving consistency on subject terms, use of RFCD codes, issues relating to harvesting and exposing thesis data. He noted that current conversions from MODS to MARC don’t work and conversions from MARC to DC result in dirty data and poor discovery.

RUBRIC– NG noted that he is focusing on the whole picture eg metadata standards, different practices, harvesting, systems, crosswalks to DC, interoperability, etc. He is interested in looking at metadata for VITAL as well as other repository spaces eg Dspace etc. He is looking at SETS rather than DC for exposing content. He is also interested in resource types and what other universities use and giving advice on crosswalks and metadata types to use.

APSR – CB gave a detailed explanation of areas of interest. He noted that he was interested in interoperability and there were 2 projects that were relevant to this group. One is a submission service which requires common standards for packaging and transforming data using different flavours of METS for Dspace and Fedora. He needs agreed upon resource types for migrating data from one repository to another. The other project is another service - Collection Services Registry which aims to expose collection level metadata about collections and to build tools to do this.

Eprints – AH commented on her involvement with the revision of AACR and the development of RDA which is moving away from a format based approach to description and access. The MARC format is an exchange and communication format and AACR is the content standard. The emphasis at QUT has not been on metadata standards. QUT has the largest repository, using eprints software and ADT. There are no learning objects in their repository and there are no plans to move e-reserve materials to the repository. QUT is planning to migrate content from eprints to ARROW. In relation to the RQF, researchers are asking about nonprint materials and she is interested in looking at the metadata requirements for these.

University of SA – KS noted that she was interested in RQF metadata.

SLNSW - SM described the development of a Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) for their archival collections. The digital objects stored in this system are simple and complex objects in a range of formats (image, text, etc). They developed a metadata application profile. MODS/METS was chosen to handle descriptive metadata for their digital objects. Technical, administrative and rights metadata are also included. The system is going live in August. Will be interoperable with Picture Australia. Also interested in development of a type vocabulary.

National Library of Australia – AD noted issues for the Discovery Service relating to bad metadata and harvesting metadata records from institutional repositories. There were issues with the subject field, description field, date and minor coding. Picture Australia harvests and aggregates metadata from a broad spectrum of services/institutions. How much description is necessary for Resource type? She will be revising the Harvesting guide. (see

Swinburne University – JB was interested in copyright issues and rights metadata in Australian repositories.

3. Context of MACAR in relation to other metadata groups

(such as Standards Australia IT 19 )

The Statement by Kerry Blinco is included here:

“As chair of Standards Australia IT-19 (the one that looks after library and repository standards) I just want you to know that the committee are very interested in understanding what sorts of things the community are interested in having standardised, or published as "best practice" documents, and if you do identify things that should be standardised, working with you to find the best way to achieve that. We are able to set up processes where communities such as yourselves do the work which meets your needs, and we just help with the appropriate standardisation process.

As a step on the way, I am planning a seminar in August for Standards Australia, and it would be very interesting for the community to include a session about the work of your group at the seminar. This is a great way of raising awareness of the issues you will be discussing.” – email 21/5/07

JG mentioned the KIM- Competence Center for Interoperable Metadata of German Austrian and Swiss experts who “cooperate to improve interoperability of digital systems environments and promote the development of common methods and procedures in their countries. The understanding of the DC Metadata Element Set and the DCMI Abstract Model is an important prerequisite to establish generally accepted methods and procedures for the vision of an extensive interoperability eg Semantic Web” - email 4/5/07 Christine Frodl ( Metadata Librarian, German National Library) Christine also noted that a resource type vocabulary is a very important thing and standardization is needed across communities but not an easy problem to resolve.


4. Discussion of goals document as it stands

Except for some changes to the deliverables the goals document was endorsed by the Committee.

5. Agreement on a set of outcomes and priorities for this group to be achieved by Dec 2007

Action: It was agreed that the main deliverables would be the development of a type vocabulary, RQF metadata particularly for access control and a library of supporting templates and crosswalks.

Deliverables in the goals document were changed to read:


Definition of standard resource types

Development of MODS and MARCXML templates in support of the standard resource types and maintain relevant crosswalks.

Decision and recommendations on whether any metadata is required to support the RQF’s access control requirements and if so what metadata is required: identification of the standard values and where this data is to be stored. (DC? MARCXML, MODS, RDF triplestore)

Watching brief on national and international developments in the area.

5.1 Allocation of working groups on those outcomes

Action: 3 working groups were formed:


Resource types. This group is convened by JG (Monash University/ARROW) and is tasked with developing a working set of resource types with agreed nomenclature.

RQF metadata. TR convenes this group, which will examine the requirements for metadata to ensure access control for the DEST Assessment processes, and any other metadata requirements associated with the RQF.

Library of templates and crosswalks. KB convenes this group. The work done by this group will take the recommendations of Groups 1 and 2 and encapsulate their recommendations as a set of tools for the repository community. It will take the resource types recommended by Group 1 and create a set of MARCXML and MODS templates for each of those types. Those templates will include the metadata elements identified by Group 2.

Action: Each of the working groups will produce an interim report in mid-June, and a final report by mid-July. These reports will be made available to the community by the end of July. Discussion will refine those reports into a final set of recommendations and tools by the end of 2007.

The membership and timelines for each group are:

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Resource type and authority control framework

RQF requirements, research quality measures and access management metadata

MODS and MARCXML templates and crosswalks

Joan Gray

Tom Ruthven

Katie Blake

Neil Godfrey

Kate Sergeant

Chris Blackall

Ann Huthwaite

Joan Gray

Joan Gray

Alison Dellit

Neil Godfrey

Belinda Weaver

John Butera

John Butera

Invited member from DEST (Graham Reynolds)

Susanne Moir

Interim/Final reports

Interim/Final reports

Interim/Final reports

10th June

18th June

18th June

3rd July

10th July

10th July

JG noted that the current deliverables were important issues for the Australian repository community but in order to take the current initiatives forward we must keep a watching brief on other topics of interest eg People metadata is an important component of metadata frameworks. The National Library of Australia has developed MAPS (Metadata for Australian People Schema) for encoding people information. The Carrick Exchange is also developing a metadata schema for people/agent.

A brief outline of relevant issues of interest prepared for this meeting is available as a separate document (MACARMinutesOne-attachment)

6. Decisions on where and how to promulgate our work

It was agreed that we need to establish jurisdiction for this group. We need the blessing from AVCC, CAUDIT, CAUL. We need legitimacy from peak bodies so that we can report back to these bodies. We need to complete work by December 2007. We agreed to keep a watchful eye on NCRIS (National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy) Group as they could take over the funding. We should make ourselves known internationally via CAUL. We could approach ALIA to discuss dissemination of information through their website.

Action: KB to invite DEST to nominate a member.

Action: KB to ask CAUL and ALIA whether they would be willing to have our material on their website.

7. Future of this group beyond 2007

8. Communications processes – Google documents, email, meeting schedules

Action: Angela agreed to assist with any processes eg Google documents, meeting schedules, teleconferences etc to facilitate group meetings and discussion.

9. Next meeting

Meeting closed at 3.00 pm. ARROW to organise next meeting for Thursday 12 July 2007 when the 3 Groups will report back.

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