Phase 3


During the Metadata 20/20 initiative, the community created several materials and resources that add to the body of knowledge about metadata, its use, and how to support it. Here we list these outcomes.

Metadata Principles, Personas and Practices


View the Principles

These aspirational Metadata 20/20 Principles were designed to encompass the needs of our entire community while ensuring thoughtful, purposeful, and reusable metadata resources. They advocate for all of us to be good metadata citizens. They provide a foundation for considering related work from Metadata 20/20 and must be interpreted within the legal and practical context in which the communities operate. These Principles are intended to guide the broadest possible cross-section of our community in improving research communications, publishing and discoverability.


View the Personas

From its start, Metadata 20/20 has been engaged with the various communities that participate in metadata, Researchers; Publishers; Librarians; Data Publishers & Repositories; Services, Platforms & Tools; and Funders. In considering the flow of metadata between individuals and systems, we recognized that within these communities, people take on one or more personas based on what they are doing at any one moment. In addition, each persona’s actions are quite similar regardless of the community they belong to. Using this role-based set of personas is a useful construct for applying our project work.


View the Practices

These Metadata 20/20 Practices describe how we achieve the Metadata Principles. Like the Principles, the Practices are context-sensitive and will be more goals than reality for some of us for some time to come, and that’s OK. What’s important and what we hope these combined resources support, is that the various stakeholders, described as the Metadata Personas, move toward a common set of goals, with support and guidance.

The Case for Metadata

Why I Want Richer Metadata

View the Reasons

During Metadata 20/20's first user workshop, we asked participants what they want to do that can be enabled by metadata, and why they feel this action is important. Each metadata reason uses the statement format As a _____ I want to ______ so I can ____.

Metadata Use cases

View Use Cases

Use cases are useful for identifying, clarifying and illustrating requirements and their possible solutions. Metadata 20/20 has been gathering specific examples help illustrate the challenges and potential of working toward the Metadata Best Principles and Practices.

Understanding Metadata

A Literature Review of Scholarly Communications Metadata

Read the Metadata Literature Review

We share the publication of a peer-reviewed academic literature review which has been published in RIO Journal. The review presents insights gained from comparing a range of articles that address the challenges and opportunities present in scholarly communications metadata.

Metadata Best Practices

View Best Practices

This output consists of links to existing metadata guidelines and best practices in order to shed light on what currently exists and whether they are applicable to the scholarly communications lifecycle. Best practices, in general, reflect agreed upon standards that help an industry or field to do its job better. The scholarly communications lifecycle works better when best practices are known and used by the community at all points of the cycle. The list is not meant to be comprehensive.

Metadata 20/20 Metadata Evaluation Projects

View Paper

Metadata 20/20: a cross-community collaboration that advocates richer, connected, reusable, and open metadata for all research outputs to advance scholarly pursuits for the benefit of society. A group of volunteers working together trying to encourage and facilitate progress towards this challenging goal. Management guru Peter Druker famously said “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”. With that in mind, several Metadata 20/20 projects examined approaches to metadata evaluation and connections between evaluation and guidance. Accomplishing this progress across the broad expanse of the Metadata 20/20 landscape requires connecting metadata dialects and community recommendations and analysis of multiple metadata corpora. This paper describes one framework for approaching that task and some potential examples.

An International, Multi-stakeholder Survey About Metadata Awareness, Knowledge, and Use in Scholarly Communications

View Paper and Resources

The Metadata 20/20 initiative is an ongoing effort to bring various scholarly communications stakeholder groups together to promote principles and standards of practice to improve the quality of metadata. To understand the perspectives and practices regarding metadata of the main stakeholder groups (librarians, publishers, researchers, and repository managers), we conducted a survey during summer 2019. The survey content was generated by representatives from the stakeholder groups. A link to an online survey (17 or 18 questions depending on the group) was distributed through multiple social media, listserv, and blog outlets. Responses were anonymous, with an optional entry for names and email addresses for those who were willing to be contacted later. Complete responses (N = 211; 87 librarians, 27 publishers, 48 repository managers, and 49 researchers) representing 23 countries on four continents were analyzed and summarized for thematic content and ranking of awareness and practices. Across the stakeholder groups, the level of awareness and usage of metadata methods and practices was highly variable. Clear gaps across the groups point to the need for consolidation of schema and practices, as well as broad educational efforts to increase knowledge and implementation of metadata in scholarly communications.

The Process of Metadata Exploration

Methods & Proposal for Metadata Guiding Principles for Scholarly Communications

Read the Methods Paper

This article describes an international community-based effort to create metadata guiding principles for adopting and using richer metadata and advancing its application in scholarly communications. These principles can facilitate the dissemination, discoverability and use/reuse of many types of research and scholarly outputs. While much work remains to be done, these principles serve as a starting point for the evolution of processes that span communities including publishers, researchers, scholars, authors and other creators, librarians, curators, custodians, and consumers of scholarly works.

Metadata 20/20 Workathon Proceedings - Sept 2019

Read the Proceedings

Metadata 20/20 have been thinking about how to spend the time during 2020 to ensure that our efforts result in the greatest impact possible. In reviewing our midpoint outputs, we recognized that a key piece that often is missing in the Scholarly Communications Metadata discussion is the change management activities necessary to ensure sustained action toward richer metadata. We feel that effective work here is essential to spur investment and evolved and widespread improved perspectives for metadata. On September 18-19, 2019, we held a Workathon workshop with key contributors to Metadata 20/20 to discuss strategies and tactics for catalyzing this action. This paper provides the results of these discussions.