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Final Metadata Review: Proposed Criteria and Workflow Between Archives, Scanning Services, and Metadata for Improved Digitization and Online Publication of Analog Collection Content

This LibGuide is intended to better identify criteria and needs in preparing and submitting collection metadata for final review. The steps proposed in this LibGuide are an effort to clarify the necessary steps and procedures for preparing good quality m

Understanding the Process of Final Metadata Review


Presently, the metadata team in Digital Resources and Discovery Services is responsible for:

  1. the creation of a data dictionary for specified collection content, and
  2. the final review of metadata created according to this established data dictionary.

The final metadata review for a collection consists of the following steps:

  • Review metadata for formatting and completeness according to data dictionary
  • Spot check files as necessary for accuracy of metadata

The ultimate goal of the final metadata review is to run a final polishing check and edit of the collection’s established metadata before upload to the repository.  As the final stage of the overall archival and digitization process, the final metadata review is not an optimum stage to catch and winnow through lingering errors in description, organization, and quality control of collection content.  Leaving the metadata review as a “catch all” for collection errors bottlenecks the workflow.  The final metadata reviewer does not have direct exposure to the collection contents.  They will not have the immediate insights into the accuracy of collection description and organization as the curating archivist would, and they will not have insights into the quality and process of imaging as the digital librarian.  The final metadata reviewer, therefore, must rely upon and trust in the knowledge and preparation of collection content by the curating archivist and digital librarian, in order to fulfill their expectations in finalizing the collection’s metadata as effectively and efficiently as possible.

For this reason, it is highly helpful for the final metadata reviewer to have established points of contact with the curating archivist and the lead digital librarian, to whom the metadata reviewer can pose questions and from whom the metadata reviewer may receive timely answers.  Additionally, the head collection curator and digitization lead play integral parts in setting the final metadata reviewer up to complete their work in as efficient a manner as possible.  There are certain tasks the head collection curator and digitization lead are ideally positioned to complete prior to the final metadata review that will enable efficient, thorough, accurate, and good quality description and digitization of collection content.

For this reason, before submitting a collection’s metadata for final review, the metadata reviewer asks that the following criteria be met to ensure an efficient, timely workflow.  Meeting this criteria will involve an additional three layers of preliminary review.  The first will be to survey the collection as a whole.  The second will be to verify quality of digitized images.  The third will be a preliminary metadata review, verifying that all metadata is consistently formatted according to the data dictionary standards and department expectations, as well as accurate and correctly paired to the file described.