Joint UX Interest Group / Descriptive Metadata Call 2015-08-05


Time: 1pm EDT / 10am PDT

Call-In Info: Google Hangout: 

Moderator: Corey Harper

Notetaker: carolyn.hansen




Note: I proposed this joint meeting because I've always felt that the majority of descriptive metadata should be tied explicitly to UX needs and functional requirements. As the Descriptive Metadata Subgroup (soon Working Group) collects background information and defines best practices, it will be helpful to ground that work firmly in the UXIG's findings and requirements.


  1. Introductions (5 min)
  2. Background: (10 min)
    1. UXIG Scope, History, Activities
    2. DM Subgroup Scope, History, Activities
  3. Call for Additional Agenda Items (5 min)
  4. Review of Hydra Metadata Survey 1 (20 min)
    1. Relationship to UX Interests
    2. Additional Questions to capture UX Needs
  5. General discussion of relationship between Metadata and UX in Hydra-land (20 min)

 1 Link to survey: 


Introductions (5 min)

  • Corey Harper, <etadata Services Librarian at NYU, not Hydra partners but now have Hydra application in production designed as metadata management structure (about harvesting, cleaning, enhancing, and firehosing metadata to other applications); believer in descriptive metadata facing into UX people facing applications/discovery systems; wants to know if there are gaps in the Hydra metadata structure that prevent people from doing what they want with their repositories
  • Chris Awre, Head of Information Services at University of Hull, Hydra head working now for past three years, institutional repository head, based on MODs metadata. I got involved in Hydra UX group because of interest in making most of what users see, key to user experience of repository is how the metadata is displayed. One of the questions I have is what do you mean by descriptive metadata? 
  • Patricia Hswe, member of Hydra UX IG, same interest in UX as Chris. Manages Penn State's ScholarSphere, where she has always integrated end user experience into the design of the repository. Librarians who are supportive of IRs but have complaints of metadata, ex. not support for controlled vocabularies, want to make it as easy as possible for users to submit, trying to bridge those types of concerns, who is going to do the metadata?
  • Carolyn Hansen, Metadata Librarian at UC, facilitator of Descriptive Metadata Subgroup. UC has self-submission IR in beta, with production roll out in Fall 2015. Interest in how metadata and UX work together to aid discovery
  • Bill McMillin, Digital Metadata Librarian at UC, working on similar projects as Carolyn
  • Danny Pucci, lead Digital Projects Librarian at BPL, maintains Hydra Fedora IR, hosts items natively here and harvest from other institutions, always interested in UX, wish web developers at BPL were at this meeting but will report back
  • Kelcy Sheperd, Head of Digital Programs at Amherset, using Hydra for IR piece of what they're doing, Hydra will be backend for self-submission, UX piece is home-grown code. Interested in UX is based on wanting to be plugged into what other institutions are doing, need to reflect best practices, excited to think about this from a user perspective, not just purely a development or standards perspective
  • Stephen Folsom and Jenn Colt from Cornell U., working on creating metadata that makes things discoverable and usable
  • Julie Hardesty, Metadata Analyst at IU. IU is a Fedora shop, working towards moving collection access and management to Hydra based applications, working with Northwestern to create Avalon (a head for audiovisual resources)

Background: (10 min)

UXIG Scope, History, Activities

  • Chris: Hydra UX group came out of first Hydra Connect meeting (18 months ago). At that meeting there was a coming together of those interested in UX issues, wanted to continue that conversation. There has been a monthly call which has been used to talk about developments at institutions with primary role in taking group forward (ex. IU and Avalon, Penn State, spotlight team at Stanford) to provide channel of communication from those projects to the larger Hydra community. We have not done anything comprehensive to capture work that's being done, would like to move to stage where we are classifying different aspects/facets of UX, trying to understand them and identify them, would like to foster more focused discussion in the future
  • Patricia: systems requirements and setup impact how UX is set up and managed, UX is how you attract and maintain a user base, IRs historically have not paid attention to UX. There is interest in UX Group developing some kind of toolkit that Hydra institutions could used
  • Corey: how is UX data/feedback gotten? surveys, tools? focus groups?
  • Patricia: ScholarSphere has user group that they get feedback from. We got the word out that we wouldn't be writing one line of code without talking to users, pretty good success, struggling a bit with continual participation over time which is a marketing and promotion issue 
  • Chris: as a community, we put out a call to say who has got this usability feedback? got some responses, but it wasn't huge. Some good examples of UX in IR development, but has not been a part of widespread work

DM Subgroup Scope, History, Activities

  • Corey: Descriptive Metadata Subgroup came out of Hydra Metadata WG (there is interest in that becoming an Interest Group and subgroups will be become working groups). Came out of Karen Estlund's efforts to get consensus for what metadata looks like in Fedora 4, dovetails with some efforts in Hydra community and elsewhere in seeing how Mods maps to RDF (BPL working on this), first step was to put together a survey
  • Carolyn: work on the survey begin in June, before this no environmental scan has been done; looking to deploy in the next week or so, with goal of having data to present at Hydra Connect in September. Phase 2 will be to generate user stories, use cases, and later best practices for descriptive metadata. Can be difficult/controversial to create best practices because we aren't police and institutions have their own contexts and system requirements.

Call for Additional Agenda Items (5 min)

  • Chris: since we have HydraConnect coming up, is there any value in continuing this discussion face to face?

Review of Hydra Metadata Survey 1 (20 min)

  • Corey: important questions: are you in XML land or RDF land? Then survey gets into more detail about metadata schemas, local metadata, where is the metadata coming from?, do we want to discuss machine enhancements? who is creating the metadata? how has it persisted? what formats is it harvested from? are there conversions? how are controlled vocabularies managed? how are terms encoded? level of API (this questions needs fleshing out), what kind of documenation do you have? roadblocks? other information?
  • Corey: I want to ask something about the depth of the metadata that's being used in the hydra head. if you're using XML based structures, do they have complex inter-related objects, are they using XML in a more RDF type of way? what are people doing in these regards? 
  • Carolyn: is this something that's better asked in person at HydraConnect?
  • Kelsey: regarding the question about complexity, could we ask people to provide metadata samples? testing sample user interfaces with real users is the way to get important info, not by asking metadata people
  • Steven: some of our questions get b/c they're closed, maybe there should be a place to comment, How are you using them? give people the opportunity to say more, in order to get qualitative information
  • Corey: I think that's a great idea
  • Chris: if people are willing to share examples of how they present metadata (screenshots), would be an equivalent to see how metadata is being shown in UX type of way. If people are wary of that, could they provide examples that they have seen elsewhere? (doesn't have to be in Hydra community)
  • Patricia: I like that idea a lot. People need to see what examples look like and use it for a sounding board for feedback
  • Corey: are there other significant things that we aren't capturing around functionality, groups of facets, etc?
  • Julie: should we have an introductory paragraph at the beginning of the survey to provide context?
  • Carolyn: that's a great idea
  • Patricia: Who is the survey being sent to?
  • Carolyn: metadata contacts at Hydra partners and known implementers. We hope they'll share the questions with others in their institutions (development, etc)

Relationship to UX Interests

Additional Questions to capture UX Needs

General discussion of relationship between Metadata and UX in Hydra-land (20 min)

  • Corey: Do people have pressing things that call for more interaction between UX and metadata group? Quarterly have joint call? Are there areas where there's intersection of metadata and UX that we don't have a forum for
  • Julie: UX perspective could be important for MODS to RDF, static XML that is a MODS records for an item; what should we do to use this in Fedora? There are different options for how to deal with that, one option is to not reflect the entire record in RDF (only core metadata, then you have to define what is core?)
  • Chris: Would you create proposals for best practices? can we use the UX group to get feedback on those proposals? taking information from an institutional perspective and then get community feedback would be helpful
  • Corey: does UX Group have bandwith to do this? can we use you group for advice or help with a study? 
  • Julie: how big is the UX group?
  • Chris: not very big
  • Patricia: we could provide some of that, I'm certainly very interested in these issues, would like group to focus on search results and the input of descriptive metadata in discovery
  • Chris: one of the ways to get more involvement is to highlight the benefit of what institutions would get from being more involved in UX. Chris and Patricia may talk about the scope of the UX group before Hydra Connect 
  • Jenn: documentation is important