Toward an emerging principle of linking socially-constructed metadata

Getaneh Alemu, Brett Stevens, Penny Ross, Jane Chandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

245 Downloads (Pure)


Current discussions on the use of Linked Data for digital libraries favour standards-based (expert-created) metadata approaches. The inclusion of socially-constructed (user-created) metadata such as tagging, ratings, reviews, and recommendations is scant or absent. While efforts by the world’s major national and academic libraries to release their bibliographic data (metadata) are an important step toward the adoption of Linked Data principles, as this article argues, without the metadata richness that would be obtained by including socially-constructed metadata (Web 2.0), the current efforts may result in sub-optimal utilization of the potential of Linked Data. With the aim of exploring and investigating the potential roles of metadata linking, this article presents the results of 21 in-depth interviews conducted with Library and Information Science (LIS) professionals. A constructivist grounded theory analysis of the interview data resulted in the emergence of four metadata principles—namely, the principles of metadata enriching, metadata linking, metadata openness, and metadata filtering.

Considering the evidence from data analysis, it was found to be essential that a mixed-metadata approach should be considered, so that socially-constructed metadata approaches augment and enhance standards-based ones through proactive user engagement and a platform of collaboration afforded through the adoption of Web 2.0 technologies. After highlighting each of these principles, this article focuses on discussions of the principle of metadata linking.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-129
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Library Metadata
Issue number2
Early online date28 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014


  • metadata
  • Linked Data
  • socially constructed metadata
  • standards-based metadata
  • Metadata Linking


Dive into the research topics of 'Toward an emerging principle of linking socially-constructed metadata'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this