In publishing, like technology, what is new today is quickly a “has been” tomorrow. The ability to repurpose content or make it more discoverable has never been more important. Publisher’s Weekly brought this information to us in their article, “Reflections on Metadata.”

With the explosion of digital products, that content has been transformed to become a publisher’s valued asset and future source of revenue. Content needs to be consistently structured, easily accessible, and managed. All that requires metadata.

What is metadata? It is essentially information about the product or the product’s content. It describes the product and governs transactions associated with that product. For the publisher, it enables the increasingly complex business rules for what, when, where, and how content is used.

With print, metadata occupied a simpler role. It was primarily a tool for tracking a single version of each title, providing information for print sales and basic cataloging.

In the digital world, metadata has grown exponentially and has increased both in complexity and importance.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.