Minutes15 08 2008


Metadata Advisory Committee for Australian Repositories (MACAR) Meeting 4

15th August 2008, Qantas Club, Melbourne Airport 10.00am -3.00 pm

1. Attendance and apologies


• KB - Katie Blake - ARROW Central (Co convenor)
• JG - Joan Gray - ARROW Central (Co convenor) & (Minute taker)
• NG - Neil Godfrey – Murdoch University
• KS - Kate Sergeant - University of SA
• AD - Alison Dellit – National Discovery Service
• AH – Ann Huthwaite – Queensland University of Technology

Alex Cooke ( Australian Research Council) attended by teleconference for Item


Angela Lang ( ARROW Central), Tom Ruthven (UNSW/ADT), Simon Porter ( University of Melbourne) John Butera ( Swinburne), Helen Wolff (Swinburne), Susanne Moir (State Library of NSW) Simon Mcmillan (University of New England) Graham Reynolds (DEST), Belinda Weaver ( University of Queensland), Kerry Blinco.

Elizabeth McDonald in place of Jenny Millea to be invited to the next MACAR Meeting

2. Minutes from previous meeting

Minutes of meeting of 17th December, 200 7 – accepted

3. MACAR Strategy Plan

The draft MACAR Strategy plan is available here. The Plan was circulated to the group prior to the meeting. KB spoke to this paper.

Options for management and structure

This paper presents options for the future ranging from no structure to being part of ANDS or coming under the umbrella of the proposed new Repository Support Office. The future of MACAR was also discussed at ARROW Management Committee where it was suggested that a similar structure such as the one proposed for the ARROW community could be provided. A MACAR Committee could be established and managed through the Repository Offic under the auspices of CAUL, hosted at an institution to be decided. A MACAR Steering Committee might consist of a small group nominated by the University Librarians. More details of what the tasks might be are included in the strategy document. At the last ARROW Management Committee meeting support was expressed for MACAR to continue.
KB reported that she had also talked to Kerry Blinco. Kerry would like for MACAR to nominate a representative to attend meetings of the Standards IT 19 Committee.

It was suggested that the strategy doc should include a requirement for .5 person for administrative support for MACAR eg maintaining macar wiki, organising meetings etc
KB noted that she had set up a Google account for a MACAR email account which will make it easy to hand over administrative responsibilty as required.
Action: MACAR should send a MACAR member as observer to the Standards IT19 meeting in October and also attend the first meeting next year.
Action: KB agreed to amend the MACAR strategy doc


  • Scope: Should MACAR confine its scope and membership to repositories in higher education, or is its remit broader, to include repositories of any kind, such as those in public libraries and corporations. We currently have one member from the public library sector, but she could not attend this meeting. KB will seek submissions from the repository community and report back to MACAR. This decision will affect the membership of the MACAR Committee next year. There was also discussion about whether MACAR should remain Australian in scope, or whether it should broaden to include South East Asia and New Zealand. NG agreed to consider this question after he takes up his position in Singapore, and to make a submission to the committee in mid-November. KB undertook to contact appropriate people in New Zealand to discuss cooperation and membership.
  • Membership: All agree that a review of MACAR membership would be a good thing. The idea of corresponding members was discussed. We now have Associate members and Core Members. Perhaps this idea should be expanded and formalised. It was agreed that for MACAR to be effective it needs a driver, and this probably needs to be a half time person. The duties of this person would be to maintain the wiki, communicate with committee members, arrange meetings, educate and inform the community.
  • Relationships:Membership of IT 19 and international organisations.
  • JG suggested that she will discuss with the DC Scholarly Communications Group how we might collaborate with them on issues relating to using Dublin Core for describing scholarly publications.
  • There was discussion about MACAR's relationship with the IT 19 Standards body. It was agreed that if MACAR were funded for 2009 it would be appropriate to have a member of the committee do a presentation of the work and vision of MACAR to a meeting of IT19. It was suggested that as IT 19 rotates its meetings throughout Australia it may be desirable to send the 'local' MACAR member to each meeting.

The idea of corresponding members was discussed. We now have Associate members and Core Members. This idea should be expanded and formalised.

Action: KB to contact NZ repository managers to find out if they are interested in membership in MACAR.
Action: KB to survey all members of MACAR for their views on coverage
Action: JG to discuss with members of the DC Scholarly Communications Group when she attends meeting in late Sept.

ERA Schema and definitions – how to work with the ARC to ensure that we are all using the same vocabulary

Alex Cooke from the Australian Research Council dialled in for this item.
The following documents were supplied by Alex Cooke as part of the Excellence in research for Australia (ERA) initiative :

  • Context diagram for research outputs for ERA
  • Research output types
  • Metadata field for research output
  • Comparison metadata terms (table compares the data elements identified by ERA , MACAR and Qualified Dublin Core)

These documents were discussed prior to Alex dialing in to the meeting.
The MACAR Group were keen to find out more about the ERA requirements and MACARs response would be based on this.

Alex and his business/system analyst ( Therdpun Klinjun) joined the meeting at 11.00 am
Alex explained that he was keen to get feedback about the draft ERA schema.

Alex noted that citation metrics and other kinds of metrics as well as expert review will be used for evaluating research excellence in Australian higher education institutions. This requires a unique identifier from the citation data provider for each research output. He also said that the agreed schemas would be converted to an xml schema to assist institutions to submit their publications information as part of the submission process.

JG noted that the entity relationships shown in the context diagram was one way of structuring the data but that other data models such as FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) can be used for research outputs. FRBR is an entity/relationship model based on 4 key entities eg work, expression, manifestation and item and this model is the basis of work recently undertaken by the eprints community in the development of the Scholarly Works Application Profile.

Alex asked if these standards would be applied in Research Offices. It was agreed that Research Offices would collaborate with repositories to provide the required outputs for ERA submission AD noted various mappings could be used to derive the data that was required without necessarily creating or storing all the data in repositories.

MACAR recommended that ERA metadata should be standards based and if there are requirements that are not met by the current standards MACAR would provide feedback on these. MACAR will soon be undertaking a review of Resource Type Vocabulary and it would be timely to have ERA requirements that are not currently covered by this vocabulary.

The release of the pilot system is planned for early October. Timelines are fairly tight for the release of the documentation. Alex agreed to send a list of properties that are not covered by existing standards to MACAR by next week.

Action: Alex Cooke to provide a list of resource types that are not covered by the MACAR Resource Type Vocabulary. MACAR to discuss in its soon to be reconvened Resource Type Vocabulary Group and provide recommendations.
Action: Alex Cooke to provide a list of properties/attributes that are needed and are not already covered by the existing standards and MACAR to provide definitions and comments.
Action: MACAR to provide more information about new conceptual models such as FRBR, FRAD, SWAP, DCAM etc which will allow metadata to be captured in different and useful ways for resource discovery and interoperability.

There was further discussion among the MACAR group members about the ERA requirements.
It was agreed that the draft ERA Research Output types were too granular and some of these could be captured as part of the descriptive metadata. The Types list attempts to capture version identification data such as revisions (preprint, postprint, published etc), statuses (refereed or non-refereed), translations etc which could be described as refinements of dc:relation or in the eprints model these relationships could be grouped together as expressions of a work. Publisher role eg non commercial was also discussed but no agreement was reached as to how this requirement/use case could be supported in the metadata.
Action: Ann agreed to look at the ERA Resource Output Types and recommend which of these might be attributes of the resource rather than type.
Action: KB and AD will arrange a face-to-face meeting with Alex Cooke to follow up on some of these issues and to ensure that MACAR will be providing ARC with the information they need.

HERDC recommendations

KB asked if there was any feedback on the MACAR recommendations on the HERDC issues. It was noted that it would better to rearrange the HERDC – the metadata issues pages on the wiki with the MACAR reommendations more prominently displayed on the page.
Action: KB to separate the MACAR recommendations from the email discussion and notes of meeting and make them available on the wiki

Review of the survey done on resource types

In July 2008 a survey of MACAR type vocabulary was posted on Google Groups -ARROW-repository and the ANZ Institutional Repositories Group. Community feedback requested. Copies of the MACAR Type Vocabulary and the Guiding principles.doc were attached and also made available on the MACAR wiki site. KB tabled the responses and made them available on the MACAR wiki. The results of the survey were very positive. 8 institutions responded to the survey and more messages were posted on the wiki site. It was agreed that a review was needed and that the Resource Type Group should be reconvened to address the issues raised.

What needs to be done next on the resource types and who will do it ?

It was agreed that a review of the vocabulary was needed based on the findings of the survey
The ERA (replacement for the RQF) needs must also be addressed.
JG agreed to reconvene the Resource Type Group, undertake a review of the current type vocabulary and report back to the wider MACAR Group.
There was an unclear statement in the current type vocabulary which NG agreed to fix. The sentence under Book -Notes “Hence a book of conference proceedings will be entered as conference proceedings, not as a book” to be removed.
Action : JG to reconvene the Resource Type Group and undertake a review and make recommendations by end of year.
Action: NG to amend the notes field under Book

List of properties and mapping to MARC and DC – what needs to be done and who will do it ?

KB asked if the MACAR list of properties should be removed from the macar wiki. It was agreed that it should stay, as it was felt that some people could use it as a guidelines document. The data dictionary is not complete. More definitions are needed. If it is found to include richer metadata than DCMI Metadata Terms http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/ and there are use cases for these metadata fields for Australian repositories then we should investigate further. If it is useful then MACAR xml schemas could be developed to support implementation of the data dictionary, data models, application profiles etc..
It was agreed that the mappings (crosswalks) table is also very useful and should be completed.
Action : AH agreed to help KB with completing the properties list and the mappings to MARC and DC

Is there any MACAR work that could be done on naming authorities?

KB asked if MACAR members had any comments about the Name Authorities – discussion document she had written and was available on the MACAR wiki.
JG noted that she had recently seen a paper by Amanda Hill which looks at approaches to name authority control in repositories and describes the work of the Names Project in the UK. and recommended that it was good reading. It is available at
[http://names.mimas.ac.uk/documents/Names_ISKO2008_paper.pdf] She also noted that there are some international developments on authorities which we need to monitor closely and keep the community informed.

What additional vocabularies need MACAR input ?

JG pointed out that there was a draft status vocabulary on the MACAR wiki site. A version vocabulary may also be needed to provide values to address version identification issues.

Action: NG agreed to investigate what values and definitions are needed for a version vocabulary

A review of the MACAR wiki

Who is to manage it, how is it going, is it the most effective tool we have ?

KB asked who is using the Wiki, whether the group thought it useful, whether there there is content that should be up there that isn’t currently available and could be useful to the community? It was agreed that the wiki is a useful tool for communication and should be maintained.

Other business

ANZSRC codes

As Angela Lang was not present at the meeting she asked JG to raise the issue of the ANZSRC codes for Australian and New Zealand research publications. Angela was asked by the HERDC Group to follow this up with MACAR. The RFCD codes have been replaced with FOR (Fields of Research) codes and SEO (Socio-economic objective) codes. A recent post on the ANZ repositories list indicated that a mapping from old to new codes is available and XML files for the new codes were also available from the University of Tasmania. MACAR members agreed that use of a subject property or field would continue to be used to encode these values.
Action : No action required by MACAR

13. Next meeting

Meeting closed at 3pm. Date of next meeting to be advised.

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