October 25, 2004

Firefox browser marches on

Version 1.0 of the Mozilla Firefox browser is due out soon. Here's an article that sums up why I switched to using Firefox when I first learned about it a couple of months ago.

October 22, 2004

Another interesting piece of work on metadata is just starting. It's a study by William Moen (the Z39.50 specialist at the University of North Texas) called 'MARC Content Designation Utilization: Inquiry & Analysis. Examining Present Practices to Inform Future Metadata Use: An Empirical Analysis of MARC Content Designation Utilization'. In this 2-year project, the researchers will will investigate the extent of catalogers’ use of MARC 21, the mark-up language used by catalogers worldwide to create electronic catalog records. OCLC will provide a sample of 1 million MARC bibliographic records for this project.
The current MARC 21 specifications define nearly 2000 fields and subfields available to library catalogers working to create catalog records for a wide variety of materials. In the Z-Interoperability Testbed Project, Moen discovered strong indications that only 36 of the available MARC subfields accounted for 80% of all subfield utilization. These preliminary findings have important implications for library catalogers, standards developers, and people involved in the machine generation of metadata.

Automatic metadata

Just received an email about a new site, www.describethis.com, described as
a service designed for the automatic extraction of metadata from online resources. You can indicate the resource to analyze and how to download the results as XML, XHTML or RDF files.
In the current version (1.0 BETA), the site's engine is able to find the resources to process using keywords, full URLs or more complex queries with operators, like "ISBN", used to collect the bibliographic data for published documents. So it can work as a metasearch engine using other search engines to locate the best sites where the resource can be found. The results returned back contain the automatically generated Dublin Core elements for the requested resource and can be downloaded as RDF, XML or XHTML.
Well worth a look and a play for anyone iterested in metadata.