As you have probably already read in the respective blog post about my PhD research, I have worked quite a lot on metadata quality parameters and processes for a series of different digital repositories/federations. As you probably heard or read in another blog post (here), I managed to complete my PhD Defense successfully and become a Dr just a few days ago!
On Friday, February 21st, 2014 I stood in the room 3M of the Rectorate Building of the University of Alcala de Henares, the same room that it all started with my first experiment back in 2009! I succesfully defended my (our) work, and in the end, the time for questions came! During the 1 hour and 20 minutes of the Q&A session, the unexpected happened! Another PhD, or an MSc or maybe 2, opened up in front of me! Not for me (one PhD is enough, thank you!) but for anyone up to the task! Through the questions carried out by the examiners, came answers and possibilities that were really interesting to me and that complemented well the existing future directions of research that we had already identified in my PhD. Here’s a list, food for thought… Any comments or additions are more than welcome!
- Metadata Understanding: We have already started experimenting with a more participatory process that will help domain experts to be trained on metadata, using brainstorming techniques and design thinking. Preliminary results have proven really promising.
- Automated Metadata Assessment: Already a set of tools is being deployed to allow for an automatic extraction of statistics of usage for metadata coming from large datasets. Our aim is to be able to quickly and efficiently analyze metadata records looking at more than their completeness but also other metrics such as entropy, frequencies, etc.
- Metadata Cost: The cost of applying a metadata quality assurance process such as MQACP on a repository is a significant one. Future work may focus on the extensive and precise documentation of such costs in the entire lifecycle of a metadata record, paired with creation costs etc. This will provide a really accurate look on the costs associated with developing and maintaining high quality digital repositories.
- Use of Metadata as Input to Design: It has been pointed out to me that another interesting aspect of my research would be looking at the exact use of metadata on the portals that the content described is accessed. Looking at what “facets” the users use to search, and then comparing this with the selection of metadata elements in each application profile and their obligation would be really interesting. Also, looking at the existing results about the metadata understanding from various domain experts could serve as really useful input to metadata design from day one.
- Gamification for Metadata: It has been pointed out that a part of the research that we carried out is really linked with gamification concepts. Linking the metadata annotation process with gaming approaches, providing incentives to the metadata annotators through gaming, would be really interesting for data-intensive applications. On the other hand, gamification could also be incorporated into the MQACP to allow for higher quality metadata from the human annotators.
These were some directions discussed during the Q&A session, put in here in brief, serving as discussion starters. Summing up, please find below the presentation of the PhD Defense, as well as the link that you can use to get the final version of my PhD Thesis, if you’re into reading 295 pages about metadata!
Final version of Thesis: Palavitsinis_Thesis_Final221113