Linked Relationships: 10 March 2013

A cornerstone of digital cataloging practice is the use of linked data to enrich an entry by building upon existing metadata. In theory, this also increases the searchability and utility of the entry while improving cataloging efficiency.

The main difficulty that arises from the use of linked data is information control. Use of linked data may need to be balanced with a cataloger’s wish to append data that may not be part of the linked data source’s schema. Additionally, propagated changes from the linked data source may affect the metadata accuracy of a downstream entry.

From an interaction design perspective, the use of linked data in a cataloging form implies that visual indicators indicating states of change should be built into the core of the interface. Timestamps for an entire “page” are neither sufficient nor granular enough to indicate changes to specific units of metadata.