Incentives for Improving Metadata Quality


To highlight downstream applications and value of metadata for all parts of the community, telling real stories as evidence of how better metadata will meet their goals.

Project plan

The following project plan is estimated to encompass work between May and October 2018.

  • Discuss illustration of metadata flow through scholarly communications in consultation with community groups
  • In consultation with community groups, start to develop fuller lists of incentives
  • Create a detailed list of outputs for phase 2 of the project
  • Gather material for re-use in business cases
  • Align incentives list with P.5’s best practice guidelines
  • Discuss outreach & education plans for time when first content is available for distribution, including proposals for upcoming conferences


  • It is difficult to describe the importance of metadata conceptually, and importance needs to be grounded in real life
  • Many organizations have one or two metadata ‘evangelists’ but they often lack the decision-making authority on budget or development roadmaps
  • The responsibility for metadata quality is often outsourced or seen as an operational after-product, not a strategic priority

Possible solutions to explore

  • Gather value stories for each community group, understand their motivations and incentives
  • Highlight and tell the stories of downstream metadata applications by gathering evidence of metadata leading to e.g. higher x (where x may = usage, discoverability, revenue, trustworthiness… etc.)
  • Identify compelling channels through which to deliver these stories and work with communications project to disseminate incentive stories in a compelling way

Group participants

  • Fiona Counsell, Taylor & Francis (Group Lead)
  • Barbara Chen, Modern Language Association
  • Daniel Shanahan, F1000
  • David Mellor, Center for Open Science
  • David Schott, Copyright Clearance Center
  • Despoina Evangelakou, SAGE Publishing
  • Dom Mitchell, DOAJ
  • Ed Moore, SAGE
  • Emilie David, AAAS
  • Fiona Bradley, Research Libraries UK
  • Ginny Hendricks, Crossref
  • Helen King, BMJ
  • Jim Swainston, Emerald Group Publishing
  • John Brucker, Copyright Clearance Center
  • Julie Zhu, IEEE
  • Kathryn Kaiser, UAB School of Public Health
  • Krishna K., Molecular Connections Pvt. Ltd.
  • Lola Estelle, SPIE
  • Mahdi Moqri, RePEc
  • Marianne Calilhanna, Cenveo Publisher Services
  • Mark Donoghue, IEEE
  • Michael Evans, F1000
  • Michelle Urberg, ProQuest
  • Mike Taylor, Digital Science
  • Neil Jefferies, Data2paper, SWORD
  • Peter Kraker, Open Knowledge Maps
  • Rachel Kessler, Proquest
  • Ramamohan Paturi, UC San Diego
  • Ravit David, OCUL, University of Toronto Library
  • Sarah Whalen, AAAS
  • Tony Alves, Aries Systems
  • Tyler Ruse, Digital Science