[OAI-implementers] dc:title vs. dc:description for images

Riley, Jenn jenlrile at indiana.edu
Tue Aug 31 14:18:47 EDT 2004

Hello all-

[This message is being posted to multiple lists - apologies for any

Thank you to everyone who responded to my query regarding usage of
dc:title and dc:description when there are 
multiple equally-valid values for each. In this case, I think I'm going
to put all the values in their own dc:title element. This is for a
number of reasons, not least of which is the strong focus dc:title
enjoys over dc:description in the current environment. I'll definitely
be keeping my eye on what various service providers
are doing with data from this collection and others to see if a revision
to our DC mapping is in order in the future.


Jenn Riley
Metadata Librarian
Digital Library Program
Indiana University - Bloomington
Main Library E170
(812) 856-5759

> -----Original Message-----
> From: oai-implementers-bounces at openarchives.org 
> [mailto:oai-implementers-bounces at openarchives.org] On Behalf 
> Of Riley, Jenn
> Sent: Saturday, August 28, 2004 12:50 PM
> To: oai-implementers at oaisrv.nsdl.cornell.edu
> Subject: [OAI-implementers] dc:title vs. dc:description for images
> Hello all-
> I'm mapping metadata for an archival collection of digitized 
> slides (the collection is at 
> <http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/collections/cushman/>)
> from our native format to simple DC for exposure via our OAI 
> data provider, and I'm having trouble making a final decision 
> about how to deal with a dc:title vs. dc:description issue.
> These slides are from a skilled amateur photographer, so they 
> do not have a "title," per se. They do have a very large 
> amount of description however, all provided by the original 
> photographer - a description written on the slide mount, plus 
> similar but not identical descriptions in between 1 and 3 
> small notebooks accomanying the slides. So we have between 2 
> and 4 descriptive strings for each image, none of which can 
> be considered to be more authoritative or complete than 
> another. I'm trying to decide whether to put these strings in 
> dc:title or dc:description elements.
> Option 1: Put all of them in dc:title. This means each DC 
> record will have up to 4 dc:title elements. I'm leaning 
> strongly toward this solution at the moment, mainly because I 
> don't find any of the other options satisfactory.
> Option 2: Put all of them in dc:description. This is from a 
> pure metadata standpoint the best solution - these strings 
> are all really descriptions, rather than formal titles. 
> However, this would result in NO dc:title element for these 
> records. Since service providers rely so heavily on dc:title 
> for intelligible display of records, I'm extremely hesitant 
> to use this solution.
> Option 3a: Pick one of the strings to put in dc:title and put 
> the rest in dc:description. If we were to do this, I suppose 
> the description from the slide mount would go in dc:title, 
> since there's only ever 1 of these, but I really don't like 
> this solution. There's no reason to prefer this description 
> over the ones from the notebooks - in fact, the descriptions 
> in the notebooks were written when the picture was taken (the 
> slide mounts obviously were written after the film was 
> developed!) and the notebook descriptions weren't subject to 
> space considerations as the slide mount descriptions were. 
> But there's no reason to pick any of the 3 possible notebook 
> descriptions over any of the others so there's no good way to 
> pick one of them for dc:title either.
> Option 3b: Pick one of the strings to put in dc:title and put 
> all of them in dc:description. Same as above, but duplicate 
> the value in dc:title in dc:description. I don't like this 
> solution for the same reasons as 3a, above.
> Option 4: Create a generic title for each record (something 
> like "Charles W. Cushman slide") and put all the descriptive 
> strings in dc:description. Although I'm a librarian and we 
> construct "titles" for unpublished materials all the time, I 
> *really* don't like this solution.
> There are 15,000 slides in the collection, so if a user's 
> search came up with more than one record from this 
> collection, a display listing titles would be extremely 
> UN-useful. Also, we have a strong commitment in this 
> collection to preserve the photographer's original words, so 
> I'd like to find a way to make these what users see in search results.
> I do plan to expose at least one other more robust metadata 
> format for these records, so hopefully some service providers 
> will be able to see and maintain the complex nature  of this 
> issue, but I still want to make sure that our simple DC is 
> intelligible for service providers who will only use that 
> metadata format.
> So does anyone out there have advice on this issue? Is there 
> a pervasive practice out there by service providers to use a 
> dc:description for display when there's no dc:title? What 
> have other data providers done when dealing with unpublished 
> material with multiple possible "titles"?
> Jenn
> ========================
> Jenn Riley
> Metadata Librarian
> Digital Library Program
> Indiana University - Bloomington
> Main Library E170
> (812) 856-5759
> www.dlib.indiana.edu
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