Metadata 2020: A collaborative effort to improve metadata quality in scholarly communications

Rachael Lammey, Dom Mitchell, Fiona Counsell

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Metadata; Scholarly Communications; Publishing; Research; Open;


Over the last five years, scholarly publishing has turned its attention towards metadata; increasingly recognizing it as a strategic priority for digital development. In a 2017 Imbue Partners study based on interviews with industry leaders, metadata was identified as of the highest importance in digital transformation. With an understanding that metadata improvements can be most efficiently made in collaboration, scholarly communications communities are now convening to find ways to jointly improve metadata.

Metadata 2020 is a project-driven collaboration of over 120 individuals across scholarly communications, convening to find ways to improve metadata that is connected, reusable, and open for all research outputs. Having launched in September 2017, the collaboration now includes 5 community groups and 6 projects.

We include publishers, librarians, service providers, data publishers and repositories, researchers and funders in our work to advance metadata for scholarly communications, to ensure consideration of all stakeholder needs in scholarly communications.

In this presentation, we will outline some of the key observations of our community groups around the metadata challenges they face; and explain how these observations evolved into the formation of our 6 cross-community projects.  

The projects that we will briefly outline include:

  • Researcher Communications

  • Metadata Recommendations and Element Mappings

  • Defining the Terms We Use About Metadata

  • Incentives for Improving Metadata Quality

  • Shared Best Practice and Principles

  • Metadata Evaluation and Guidance

Giving a brief overview of the remit and progress to date of each project, we will invite participation from attendees, and provide information about when key resources and guidance will be made available to the communities we serve.


Imbue Partners, ‘Industry Leaders’ Perspectives on the Digital Transformation Journey in Publishing’, 2017.


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Copyright (c) 2018 Rachael Lammey, Dom Mitchell, Fiona Counsell

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