This article aims to contribute to the discussion on user-generated metadata. It presents the perspectives of eleven purposefully selected library and information science (LIS) academics and postgraduates on optimality of standards-based versus socially constructed metadata approaches and develops conceptual themes that emerged, which include the obsolescence of the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) in relation to web search engines, the preference of users for searching versus browsing, and the proliferation of extant metadata standards resulting in interoperability challenges. This study also reveals the role ascribed to Web 2.0 and to semantic web technologies in libraries and the importance of enriching information objects with metadata that better conveys the various perspectives of users. Finally, the importance of underpinning metadata decisions with sound theoretical foundations is identified.
- digital libraries
- semantic web
- socially constructed metadata
- standards-based metadata
- Web 2.0