Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The joy of metadata

Someone left a photocopy on my desk. Highlighted in yellow was the quote, "taxonomy is not a science, it's a war." So true, so true...

We're in the process of finalizing our taxonomy. The majority of our items were quite easy and basically followed the Dublin core. Everyone could agree on items like author, date, etc. Our largest challenge came with scientific keywords. We view this as providing the largest value to our customers.

We formed a team to accomplish this task. The team painstakingly evaluated each word, looked at current keywords searched on the web, had others in the organization evaluate the words and came up with final list. A recommendation from the team was to have this list evaluated by our customers. To accomplish this we hired consultants to conduct the testing. Yesterday, our consultants presented the test plan to the team. I was surprised by the resistance of some team members to the test plan, especially those components that could provide unsolicited input, i.e. not being directed by team's current list. The concern, justifiably, is that this input may reveal major changes to the classification system. We're also on a tight timeframe with the need to begin using this in early July.

In hindsight, it would have better to have built this evaluation much earlier on or had this in the assignment to the team. Live and learn...


Post a Comment

<< Home