Metadata for Information Management and Retrieval: Understanding Metadata and its Use, Second Edition

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Author
  • Reviews

Metadata for Information Management and Retrieval has been fully revised by David Haynes to bring it up to date with new technology and standards. The new edition, containing new chapters on Metadata Standards and Encoding Schemes, assesses the current theory and practice of metadata and examines key developments in terms of both policy and technology. Coverage includes:

  • an introduction to the concept of metadata;
  • a description of the main components of metadata systems and standards;
  • an overview of the scope of metadata and its applications;
  • a description of typical information retrieval issues in corporate and research environments;
  • a demonstration of ways in which metadata is used to improve retrieval;
  • a look at ways in which metadata is used to manage information; and
  • consideration of the role of metadata in information governance.

This book is essential reading for library and information students at undergraduate and postgraduate level and will also be useful reading for LIS professionals looking for an accessible introduction to metadata.

List of figures and tables              




1. Introduction 

2. Defining, describing and expressing metadata              

3. Data modelling            

4. Metadata Standards 


5. Resource identitification and description (Purpose 1)

6. Retrieving information (Purpose 2)    

7. Managing information resources (Purpose 3)

8. Managing intellectual property rights (Purpose 4)       

9. Supporting e-commerce and e-government (Purpose 5)

10. Information governance (Purpose 6)


11. Managing metadata               

12. Taxonomies and encoding schemes

13. Very large data collections   

14. Politics and ethics of metadata          


David Haynes

David Haynes PhD MBCS FCLIP conducts research into Privacy and Metadata at the Department of Library and Information Science at City, University of London. He is also an Honorary Tutor at the Centre for Archives and Information Studies (CAIS) at the University of Dundee where he specialises in Metadata and Taxonomies. He has been involved in library and information consultancy and research for more than 35 years during which time he has worked on information retrieval, information policy and information governance issues, latterly specializing in privacy and data protection. He is Chair of the UK Chapter of ISKO, the International Society for Knowledge Organization.

"Metadata has evolved from being a specialist interest to become a mainstream topic of relevance to anyone concerned with accurate and efficient information management. David Haynes has produced a clear, comprehensive and timely overview of how metadata shapes our digital age, why it’s a key organisational asset and how its value can be released through the use of key standards and technologies."
—Neil Wilson, Head, Collection Metadata, The British Library

"David Haynes’ Metadata for Information Management and Retrieval provides an excellent overview that covers all of the main issues relating to metadata and controlled vocabularies. Haynes deals with key concepts such as resource description and information retrieval in clear, practical terms, with real-life examples.  The section on the politics and ethics of metadata is timely and thought-provoking. This book is a valuable resource for both students and information professionals in the age of digital libraries and big data."
—Murtha Baca, PhD, Editor, Introduction to Metadata

"METADATA IN ALL ITS ASPECTS. Metadata is one of those buzzwords closely associated with digital content. However, like many other catchy terms used for electronic resources, everyone talks about metadata but few understand exactly what it means! In fact, and I believe this is the reason why metadata still remains a difficult concept to be fully grasped, most of the literature published hitherto on the theme revolves around two aspects of metadata: its technical properties and existing standards – without making a clear point about the history, use, importance and impact of metadata in the management of digital collections.

"This second and timely expanded edition of Metadata for Information Management and Retrieval covers, in a very accessible and straightforward language, all the fundamental points which explain why metadata is so relevant in today's electronic environment. By approaching the theme from different although complementary angles, Dr. Haynes’ book  makes the concept of metadata comprehensible to everyone, shedding a new light on the management and curation of digital objects. This book is an indispensable guide to be placed on our shelves!'"
—Dr. Aquiles Brayner, Digital Curator

"This is the second edition of a pioneering work originally published in 2004. It is intended as a tutorial (rather than a how-to do book) on metadata. Its basic strength is its clarity and its sound theoretical considerations based on a deep knowledge of the relevant literature combined with a comprehensive knowledge about the application of metadata in different environments

"The author does not find that the definition of metadata as ‘data about data’ sufficient. He argues that to understand this new concept it is necessary to know about how informative objects or documents have been described and catalogued by the different communities that have developed specific systems and processes for this purpose. The word ‘data’ in ‘metadata’ is widely interpreted as information, information resource or information containing entity. This allows inclusion of documentary materials in different formats and on different media.

"A basic view underlying this book is that metadata can only be defined and understood by its purposes or uses. This corresponds with a view that I have put forward in several publications: that the pragmatic approach to knowledge organization is the most important. It may sound trivial, but still this perspective has not broadly been understood and applied.   

"The book devotes 6 chapters to 6 different purposes of metadata. With regards to information retrieval it is argued that "metadata has a key role to play in high-quality information retrieval and is particularly important in clearly defined domains. It also plays a key role in providing users with options for searching on different attributes and for putting the search queries into context."

"The book contains fine introductions to metadata modelling, models and standards and contains 4 chapters on metadata management including ‘big data’ and a discussion of political and ethical issues. It has a valuable reference list, including references to many standards.  

"David Haynes’ book presents a highly qualified and useful introduction to metadata and deserves to be used as a text in courses at iSchools and by professionals working in museums, libraries, archives, publishing houses and other contexts."
—Birger Hjørland, Professor of Knowledge Organization, Royal School of Library and Information Science, Copenhagen

Review of the previous edition:

"A very sound introduction to current metadata concepts for librarians and information workers alike. There is no doubt that it is already a key text on Library and Information Science courses and will remain so for many years."
—Marieke Guy, Ariadne