Researcher Communications


Exploring ways to align efforts between communities that aim to increase the impact and consistency of communication with researchers about metadata.

Project plan

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

  • Review existing surveys and articles surrounding researcher attitudes to metadata
  • Consider assigning a student to conduct a literature review
  • Examine publishers who have improved metadata over last 2 years, and interview them about possible reasons (including how they may have encouraged authors to deposit more complete metadata)
  • Conduct informal interviews to researchers in different fields to inform survey questions
  • Create survey
  • Find channels for survey distribution
  • Collect results


  • It is challenging to motivate authors and editors to provide accurate and complete metadata
  • Authors are largely unaware of the downstream effects and benefits of high-quality metadata
  • There is a tension between putting authors off by asking for too much metadata, or the same metadata they have been required to provide elsewhere, and securing sufficient metadata
  • Researchers and readers use different terminology and have different needs and requirements depending on their field of work
  • Researchers and readers will only respond to use cases that are highly relevant to them

Possible solutions to explore

  • Develop a suite of use cases, relevant to different fields
  • Align with other projects (particularly ‘defining terms about metadata’ ‘metadata evaluation and guidance’ and ‘incentives for improving metadata’)
  • Create a multi-channel outreach campaign for consistent communication via all communities in scholarly communications
  • Work closely with funders to communicate new mandated metadata deposit with researchers


  • Metadata Attitudes and Understandings - What do researchers and others think about metadata? What might help them find more value?
  • Metadata Literature Review - How are academics thinking about metadata and characterizing its effectiveness? Where are there gaps in our insight that could benefit from further study?

Group participants

Alice Meadows, ORCID (Co-Chair)
Michelle Urberg, ProQuest (Co-Chair)