There is no metadata just data
Why is there a rift between the library catalogue and the repository? The separation between the two has been bugging me.
In our catalogue we record PhD dissertations, because they are books, innit? But there is a whole section for Dissertations in the repository because you can’t get your degree without submitting it. And many dissertations are born digital nowadays so they aren’t ‘books’ anymore. But then, the catalogue is filled with ebooks, these are books aren’t they?
And at the end of the day, what matters is some metadata describing the object and how you can get the actual object. Where ‘get’ can be a shelfnumber, PDF, SFX etc. and who knows a cortical shunt if we can get the details worked out.
For the past few months I have been building our institutional repository infrastructure, my colleagues have been building a new Discovery system, work continues apace on our catalogue, and I just can’t shake the feeling that we are all barking on different sides of the same tree. There are probably some very good organisational, political and historical reasons that I am just not aware of, being a newbie in library-land. Would love to learn about it though.
This thought was spewed by me on Twitter too, and Peter van Boheemen pointed me to his relevant blog post on what they are doing in this direction. Via Twitter we also received a pointer to The OLE Project which is exploring the same theme.