Australian Digital Collections: Metadata Standards and Interoperability

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3 Citations (Scopus)


A questionnaire survey was emailed to various institutions in Australia hosting digital collections. Nineteen institutions, including libraries, museums, archives, and other bodies, responded to the survey, representing a wide range of digital resources. it was found that metadata format standards are more concentrated than might have been expected, whereas the reasons given for their selection vary considerably. The relationship between format and content standards is quite close; supplementary, in-house guidelines are prevalent, as are controlled vocabularies. Only a few institutions had added to their collections by importing other digital resources together with metadata. Most institutions are working towards interoperability in specific ways, but these ways vary in two important respects. First, some institutions focus on internal interoperability, while others emphasise cross- institutional development. Second, in terms of how to achieve interoperability, some institutions emphasise adherence to metadata standards, while other stress the way in which new technologies can work with divergent metadata formats and content. A graph of interoperability is constructed from the survey responses, reflecting these different positions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-300
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Academic and Research Libraries
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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