Comparing metadata quality in the Europeana context
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The quality of the metadata affects the interoperability of the collections and the quality of all search results, and is important to the success of Europeana. It is not obvious how to define quality metrics, on different kinds of metadata and collections, and many different perceptions may be valid. Nevertheless, a metadata quality metric will help the collection administrators detecting and improving the weaknesses of their metadata, and Europeana locating the most problematic collections, in terms of metadata quality, and prompt their administrators to improve their descriptions. We developed an adaptive quantitative metadata quality metric and a system to implement it for Europeana Local that takes into account the significance of the different metadata elements in the record, and also the values that they contain. In controlled values, their distribution is of importance, while for free text values the length of the description is used. We applied this metric to collections outside Europeana to find reasonably expected thresholds and weights for each individual value in the Europeana context and both outside and inside Europeana, and compared the results, to get a general quantitative and qualitative feeling of the diversity in the record descriptions, to produce the appropriate advice for the collection administrators and make quality observations.
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