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COURSE DESCRIPTION : [From the LIS course list] Principles and application of metadata for networked information-­‐resource organization, representation, retrieval, and interoperability using a variety of schemes and tools. Prerequisite: LIS 2005.
Last Updated: Apr 18, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Name: Michael Bolam
Title: Metadata Librarian
Tel: 412-648-5911
Fax: 412-648-2170
Room 306
7500 Thomas Boulevard
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh,PA 15260


Eli: Embedded Librarian Initiative

ELI: Embedded Librarian Initiative

ELI provides subject-specific help for core MLIS courses. Have a question? Ask ELI!


Academic Integrity

Students in this course will be expected to comply with the University of Pittsburgh's Policy on Academic Integrity. Any student suspected of violating this obligation for any reason during the semester will be required to participate in the procedural process, initiated at the instructor level, as outlined in the University Guidelines on Academic Integrity. This may include, but is not limited to, the confiscation of the examination of any individual suspected of violating University Policy.


Students with Special Needs

If you have a disability that requires special testing accommodations or other classroom modifications, you need to notify both the instructor and Disability Resources and Services no later than the second week of the term. To notify Disability Resources and Services, call (412) 648-7890 (Voice or TTD) to schedule an appointment. The Disability Resources and Services office is located in 140 William Pitt Union on the Oakland campus.


Technology Assistance Provided by the University of Pittsburgh

For all computer and technology assistance please visit Computer Services and System Development’s website or call 412-624-HELP (4357).


LIS 2407: Metadata

Metadata is data about data. In information science terms, metadata provides the structure and labels with which to both organize items and to enable their discovery and retrieval. Metadata in this context applies to not just books, but all manner of resources including physical and electronic textual items, monographs, serials, broadsheets, pamphlets, videos, sound files, physical objects and artifacts, and all manner of multi-media items. In essence, metadata provides the librarian with the language and tools to categorize virtually any item that might be of use to the library patron.

LIS 2407 covers the principles and application of metadata for networked information resource organization, representation, retrieval, and interoperability using a variety of schemes and tools.  



By the end of this course, students will understand:

  • what metadata is and how it is used
  • how metadata standards are used to both organize resources and make those resources discoverable
  • current metadata terminology and concepts
  • the major problems related to creating and using metadata
  • the structure and content of various metadata schema
  • how to identify/implement metadata schemas for varying types of resources and users


Textbooks, like standards, are a perpetually evolving, moving target. Always contact the professor before purchasing texts in the event that a required text has been replaced or re-issued in a newer version. Right now, the texts for this course are:




Steven J. Miller.

Metadata for Digital Collections: A how-to-do-it manual.

New York: Neal-Schuman, 2011.

ISBN: 9781555707460





Marcia L. Zeng and Jian Qin.


New York: Neal-Schuman, 2008.

ISBN: 9781555706357


Oh Metadata!

On the lighter side, thanks to Phil Shapiro and friends at the public library in Takoma Park, Maryland for this stirring Metadata music video.

“Oh, Metadata!” August 4, 2009, video clip, accessed April 4, 2013, YouTube,

Subject Guide

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Andy Kramer

Subject Guide

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Denise Weldon-Siviy
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Subject Guide

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Michelle Wilson
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LibGuide Creators

This libguide was created by MLIS graduate students Andy Kramer, Denise Weldon-Siviy, and Michelle Wilson as a group project for LIS 2500.

The course instructor is not responsible for the content contained in this LibGuide.


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