Journalism.co.uk (Via ACM TechNews) is reporting that Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the Media Standards Trust in the UK have won a major grant to develop a metadata system to improve search and trust in news information -

It received its award for plans to design a way for content creators to add information about sources and context to their reports in the form of additional meta data.

This sounds like an incredibly useful project, not only for people who search for news articles, but for journalists themselves. A few years ago while working in a news library I researched the information seeking behaviour of journalists, and they find it difficult, as do the rest of us, to identify credible news sources and contacts for their reporting on the Internet. A project like this will help to trace the path a story takes before it is published.

Metadata is incredibly important when it comes to the Semantic Web. It provides the foundation to sharing data and content. JISC Techwatch recently released a report calling for libraries to pay greater attention to metadata, particularly to metadata for digital libraries. In Metadata for digital libraries: state of the art and future directions they propose that -

The complex metadata requirements of digital objects, which include descriptive, administrative and structural metadata, have so far militated against the emergence of a single standard. However, the report argues that a set of existing standards, all based on XML, can and should be combined to produce a coherent, integrated metadata strategy.

If you want to learn more about XML, Eric Lease Morgan has just updated his online workshop XML in Libraries. It’s a great introduction with lots of library-specific examples.

Originally published on the semanticlibrary.net blog