As a relative newcomer to the intricacies of metadata flows across the publishing industry, I looked forward to interviewing Renée Register this past week. Renée has first-hand knowledge of how metadata is created and modified “downstream” from publishers by vendors and libraries, and the problems we face when those changes are not replicated through the entire system.
At the 11:25 marker in our interview below, Renée gives a good summary of the issues and next steps for solving them. At 17:40 she talks about her upcoming panel at the BEA with big players including Ingram, Bowker, and Barnes & Noble. She has asked them to identify the data points they most often enhance, and whether or not those changes get communicated back to the publisher. Renée will then moderate an open discussion with the audience which I jokingly termed a Truth and Reconciliation process—and she did not disagree!
Industry-wide communication and feedback is the key to creating a global discoverability environment that will benefit all authors. While individual authors may not be able to influence this process, raising our collective awareness about the larger metadata issues can help support those within the industry who are working for change.