Metadata for Mathematical Resources: Show and Tell

Robby Robson

Metadata is "data about data." It is provides a way of labeling an electronic resource with familiar types of information, such as title, author, copyright, language, and subject classification, as well as with information such as technical specifications, level, difficulty, duration, and approach that speak to its utility in a specific environment and to a specific user. In the print world metadata is familiar from the spines of books and library card catalogues. In the electronic world metadata are more complex, more powerful, and more essential. During the past year, several major metadata efforts have converged and are producing metadata specifications which are on their way to becoming standards through the IEEE learning technology standards committee. A mathematics metadata working group with a focus on broad pedagogic applications has been working within this framework to develop a set of metadata standards for mathematics. The emphasis of this work to date has been on subject taxonomies for levels of mathematics not addressed by the MSC, on metadata elements that will need particular attention from the mathematical community, and on supporting the integration and enhancement of digital libraries. This talk will give an overview of structured metadata, demonstrate a vision for its use in educational settings, discuss the working group's approach to mathematical subject taxonomies, show some of the taxonomic work that is due for more public review in early 2000, and demonstrate how the metadata under development is being implemented and used in digital libraries.

materials for this talk

created Mon Dec 13 10:51:17 PST 1999