Over the last decade institutional repositories have grown by leaps and bounds. In theory, that would imply that the use of administrative metadata associated with digital objects has done the same. In a recent survey of ARL libraries, Administrative Metadata for Long-Term Preservation and Management of Resources: A Survey of Current Practices in ARL Libraries, Jane Johnson Otto found that this is, in fact, not true. A quick disclaimer: the survey dealt specifically with the elements that were available within a given schema. It did not account for administrative information that may be present in an unrelated element.
While some individual libraries are utilizing administrative metadata extensively, the averages among the 54 libraries that responded to this survey show that the lack of preservation and administrative metadata (which includes technical, rights, and preservation information) continues to be a hindrance to long-term preservation. Part of the problem is that institutional repositories are not being developed in a way that accommodates extensive administrative metadata. The lack of elements within a given schema that are structured for this sort of metadata means that even when the information is being included, it is not in a form that is machine readable and is thus less likely to be located. Ultimately this points to the need to develop best practices for the use of administrative metadata to ensure that the proper information is being collected and that it can and is being associated with the proper elements.
The published version of this article is available as follows: “Administrative Metadata for Long-Term Preservation and Management of Resources: A Survey of Current Practices in ARL Libraries,” Library Resources and Technical Services 58: 1 (January 2014).