Metadata is data that describes other data. For example, what is a file’s size? Who owns it? When was it last modified? These characteristics – or attributes – of a file are metadata.
Metadata feeds into information architecture (IA) – the discipline or framework in which data and information is categorised for sourcing, storage and retrieval. For example, information architecture helps in structuring how data is stored in a database. It also assists in how that data is labelled, which in turn makes it easier to find and use the data.
All content objects generated, managed and published at UCT and its direct affiliates, must be tagged and stored with sufficient metadata.
ICTS provides metadata and information architecture services
ICTS’s Content Architecture team provides metadata and IA services to the UCT community. The team, consisting of content architects and technical writers, works with UCT departments and ICTS to plan and deliver metadata and IA services for content management systems.
This team works primarily with business metadata, while the UCT Libraries Cataloguing & Metadata Management department works with scholarly metadata.
The services are divided into three categories:
- Content architecture and metadata management
- Information management and information content publishing
- Training and guidelines
Content architecture and metadata management
- Analyse content structure and create templates and document type definitions.
- Analyse and survey the audience.
- Map document types into the metadata architecture (and file plan, if required).
- Define and manage core business metadata and additional metadata requirements for document types.
- Identify and model relevant taxonomies, vocabularies and metadata schemas.
- Normalise document types and metadata schemas.
- Organise and label navigation schemes and retrieval mechanisms.
- Create a structural design to enable task completion and intuitive access to content for new or existing applications.
- Structure and classify websites, intranets and other business information repositories to help people find, access and manage information.
- Test usability and functionality of content management systems and websites from an information architecture perspective.
Information management and information content publishing
- Where appropriate, consulting on the transformation of information from one format/medium to another.
- Maintaining and implementing information handling procedures.
- Providing guidance on relevant organisational enterprise content management (ECM) governance (i.e. policies and procedures) and giving input on risks around the use of information – especially in the management of records.
- Analysing and creating stakeholder business/system requirements for content management systems.
- Defining XML validation rules and transforming XML documents from one format to another through development on request.
- Identifying, documenting and modelling content sources.
- Defining and managing content management processes to meet the needs of users.
- If required, providing initial support to users of content management systems.
- Consulting on accessibility, retrievability and protection of information.
Training and guidelines
- On request, providing training, workshops, and/or e-learning solutions on metadata and IA methods and tools.
- Developing style guidelines and templates and governance around metadata and IA.
- Assisting staff to define short and long-term CMS training strategies (methods, identifying trainees and trainers, scope, media, competency testing and logistics).
How do I access the services?
Depending on the type of content you’re working with, contact the relevant person
- Scholarly content collections and metadata: Contact Mandy Noble
- Business content collections and metadata: Contact Jenny Wood