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Recommended Data Elements for Describing Archived Web Content

OCLC: “This is the third and final post reporting on the work of our OCLC Research Library Partnership Web Archiving Working Group. The first post summarizes our work overall and lists some of the conundrums that librarians and archivists have experienced when trying to describe web content. The second post goes into some detail about our two supplementary reports (a literature review and an analysis of harvesting tools). This post focuses on the primary report: Descriptive Metadata for Web Archiving: Recommendations of the OCLC Research Library Partnership Web Archiving Metadata Working Group (WAM). Here I’ll talk about our objectives in doing the work, list the criteria we used to scope the data element set, and briefly describe each of the 14 elements.

WAM’s overall objective was to develop practices for creating consistent metadata that address the unique characteristics of websites and collections. More specifically, we sought to:

  • Develop community-neutral, standards-neutral practices for descriptive metadata for archived web content, taking into account the needs of end users and metadata practitioners.
  • Define a lean set of data elements with usage notes to guide the preparation of data content.
  • Ensure that the data elements can be used in concert with other standards that have far more granular data element sets.
  • Use a scalable approach that requires neither in-depth description nor extensive changes to records over time.
  • Enable practitioners to have confidence that they are contributing to the application of consistent practice in this emerging area.
  • Bridge bibliographic and archival approaches to description…”

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