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Charge: Metadata Sharing Policy Task Force

A. Governance

The mission of HathiTrust is to contribute to research, scholarship, and the common good by collaboratively collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating, and sharing the record of human knowledge. Metadata sharing reflects core values and priorities of the HathiTrust members and collaborative enterprise. Sharing the rich metadata created and collected by HathiTrust enables institutions and researchers to access metadata they need to further research projects.  To advance this value, the HathiTrust Policy on Metadata Sharing and Use was approved by the HathiTrust Board of Directors on June 3, 2019. It provides a broad framework and statement of principles. 

Reflecting HathiTrust’s commitment to open sharing of metadata the Program Steering Committee seeks to develop aligned policies for the many types of Metadata HathiTrust uses and stewards. PSC is initiating the Metadata Sharing Task Force to continue the work of developing sharing policies to cover the full range of HathiTrust’s metadata types. This reflects the strategic priorities for data and technology in the 2019-2023 Strategic Directions: 

Data and Technology

  • Engineer the HathiTrust infrastructure as a more open platform for distributed activities and services. 

    • Reengineer and modernize HathiTrust repository and access services. 

    • Revamp holdings data processes to support all HathiTrust service and programs.

  • Improve quality of collections and metadata through collaborative effort and computational methods.

  • Redefine our discovery and access strategy to support greater interoperability and frictionless use of our collection. 

    • Invest in discovery solutions and techniques to improve findability of HT resources. 

    • Explore authorities, registries, or secondary databases that could be generated from and expose metadata in bulk as useful and permissible

B. Charge

The Metadata Sharing Policy Task Force has as its objective the creation of a set of sharing policies addressing each type of HathiTrust Metadata listed in Section F of the charge. 

  • Advise PSC on policies consistent with metadata sharing framework for sharing specified types of metadata (cf. F. HathiTrust Metadata Types).

    • Determine appropriate criteria for evaluating policies for specified types of metadata.

    • Communicate with PSC about the task force’s work and progress.

    • Draft text for type-specific metadata sharing policies for PSC review.

    • Liaise with the community and educate the community about issues related to metadata sharing policies for two-way communication on issues related to metadata sharing.

  • Engage units of HathiTrust membership and organization potentially affected by metadata sharing policies.

  • TF will discuss implementation strategies and priorities with HT Operations to provide metadata infrastructure supporting more open platform for distributed activities and services, in particular as relates to exposing metadata in bulk usefully and permissibly.

  • Term of work: 18 months (charge development partners - Stephen Hearn, Karla Strieb)

C. Outcomes

The task force will:

  • Continue and complete the preceding work of MUSAG on metadata sharing policy. 

  • Align its policy development closely with policy work on metadata enhancement. 

  • Propose policies related to metadata sharing at the level of specific classes of metadata.

    • Milestone: First draft policy, e.g., on Rights Metadata within six months (PSC response will help the task force refine its template / model for additional policies)

    • Milestone: Complete work on policy drafts in time to assist PSC with presenting proposed policies to HathiTrust membership before the task force’s term concludes

  • Propose functional goals (e.g., HT should work towards serving metadata needs such as bulk downloading of specified types of metadata).

D. Reporting

The Task Force reports to the Program Steering Committee. Draft policies will go to PSC for review and approval for forwarding to the Board of Governors for final approval.

PSC’s liaison to the task force will report briefly on the task force’s work at PSC meetings.

The task force chair will report in writing to PSC quarterly and provide updates for quarterly Board of Governors meetings.

Every six months (or more often) the task force will present draft policies for selected metadata types for PSC review at Milestone check ins.

The task force chair will be available for consultation at any point with PSC and PSC chair.

In coordination with PSC, the task force will schedule, prepare, and offer presentations to HathiTrust members or groups to educate them and gather input regarding proposed policies for sharing specified types of metadata.

E. Membership/Composition/Term

Membership: Recommended by Chair and approved by PSC. PSC will assist with recruitment of membership from HathiTrust member institutions.

Membership composition:

  • Chair: From HathiTrust Member Institution - appointed by PSC

  • Experts from HT Member Institutions, particularly those with expertise relating to metadata sharing such as: catalogers and metadata librarians and librarians familiar with what users and researchers need from metadata.

  • Liaison from PSC

  • One or more HT Staff members

The TF will also actively liaise with member metadata librarians and regularly engage staff from HT Operations (e.g., new HT metadata analyst) to assess implications and feasibility issues raised by proposed policies.

F. HathiTrust Metadata Types (subject to extension and/or refinement)

  1. Bibliographic Metadata
  2. Bibliographic Metadata for U.S. Federal Government Documents
  3. Rights Metadata
  4. Copyright Review Program Rights Investigation Data
  5. Print Holdings data
  6. Shared Print Retention Data
  7. METS Data
  8. Collection Builder Data
  9. HathiTrust Research Center Workset Builder Data
  10. HathiTrust Research Center Extracted Features Metadata
  11. Market Availability Data