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Glossary: Metadata and information architecture

Term

Definition

Archive (v.)

“To place or store in an archive; in Computing, to transfer to a store containing infrequently used files, or to a lower level in the hierarchy of memories, esp. from disc to tape.”

(Source: Oxford English Dictionary Online)

Attribute

  • A defining characteristic (such as a title, date, owner, or subject) that is assigned to an object to assist in its identification.
  • In a computer environment, a specific property inherent in a database entity or an object. Attributes usually consist of a name and a value, and they are often considered important metadata elements. (International Records Management Trust).
  • A specification that defines a property of an object, element, or file. It may also refer to or set the specific value for a given instance of such. (Source: Wikipedia)

Authoring

“Computing. The process of creating, compiling, and structuring a program or document (now freq. a multimedia or hypertext document), esp. for electronic publishing. Freq. attrib., esp. in authoring software, authoring tool.”

(Source: Oxford English Dictionary Online)

Channel

Means by which content collection or content artefacts are made available or published.

Classification

Indicates the permissible access applicable to a record; the level of sensitivity associated with the information contained in a record. (As distinct from “Categorisation”, classification refers specifically to categorisation of its sensitivity, e.g.: Secret, Confidential, Public...)

Content architecture

See: Information architecture.

Content artefact

Any collection of physical or electronic information in any uniform medium, that has meaning and context in its own right, as a single unique entity. A content artefact may be a document, an image, a data collection or a web page, and is normally the result of an operational process. Content artefacts may exist at varying degrees of granularity: from a multimedia collection to a single image.

Content collection

Collection of physical and electronic content artefacts and content objects - including but not restricted to: Scholarly resources; business records and procedural documentation; website content; research data; publications; personal information; media collections; databases.

Controlled vocabulary

A list of permissible descriptors that may be associated with or assigned to a content object as metadata. In an application user interface, controlled vocabularies are often used to populate drop-down lists or combo boxes.

Dublin Core Metadata Standard

The Dublin Core metadata terms are a set of vocabulary terms which can be used to describe resources for the purposes of discovery. The terms can be used to describe a full range of web resources (video, images, web pages, etc.), physical resources such as books and objects like artworks. (Source: Wikipedia)

Enterprise content management (ECM)

“Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is the strategies, methods and tools used to capture, manage, store, preserve, and deliver content and documents related to organizational processes." (Source: AIIM)

ECM tools and strategies allow the management of an organization's unstructured information, wherever that information exists.” (Source: AIIM)

Facet (Taxonomy)

A domain-specific taxonomy derived from the values and relationships in a given ontology, providing a domain-relevant point of entry to content. For example, a single ontology of a content collection can deliver taxonomies that are relevant to particular business processes, or taxonomies based on time series, or taxonomies based on information classification, all for the same content collection.

Information Architecture

The discipline and frameworks by which information and data are categorised for sourcing, storage and retrieval. For example: Information architecture applies to storage in the domain of database structures, and to retrieval in navigation, filing structures, catalogues etc.:

  • The structural design of shared information environments.
  • The combination of organisation, labelling, search and navigation systems within web sites and intranets.
  • The art and science of shaping information products and experiences to support usability and findability.
  • An emerging discipline and community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.

Metadata

  • Descriptive or definitive data that is linked to data or to a data collection.
  • Metadata is structured information that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage an information resource.” (Niso, 2004)

Ontology

A schematic representation of “what is known”, defining concepts and their relationship to one another.

Open standard

A generally accepted framework that may be applied across many domains, and is accessible in the public domain for common use and re-use.

Repository

A storage container for content artefacts, physical or electronic. Physical repositories are also often known as “depositories”.

Schema

A set of rules for the structure and content of an information artefact, by which that artefact may be constituted as valid at the time that it is parsed.

Taxonomy

A hierarchical structure used to sort information and content into categories and sub-categories.

Working group

  • They are formed to deal with generic issues, or sets of issues (rather than individual, specific and ad hoc issues), in that, as a consequence, they have an indefinite existence with stable membership (that develops a shared understanding and knowledge of a field of work)
  • However, flexibility is important, and for this reason any Working Group may add to its membership, subject to approval by the Nominations Committee.
  • The reports and work of Working Groups will be in the public domain.
XML Extensible Markup Language: a machine-readable, open standard language used to describe (“mark up”) information content and its component elements (including metadata).