The goal of Metadata Outreach is to empower the University of Rochester community to understand and tackle challenges and projects that involve information organization and description in order to allow you to do your best work. Our consultation service model connects you to metadata experts who will help you understand the scope of your question and provide you with suggestions and solutions tailored to your work and your needs.



Below are some of the ways that Metadata Outreach can help you solve your problems and achieve your goals. Please contact us for more information or to set up a consultation.

Consultation on information organization problems or questions

  • Provide assistance to those facing an information organization problem(s). For example, you have "stuff" and you need to address how you will organize, arrange, and/or describe your stuff so you can find it and share it.
  • Includes discussing file paths/directory structure, developing file names, guidelines for crafting internal or external metadata descriptions, and selecting schema and controlled vocabularies.
  • May include existing information organization systems/solutions as well as brainstorming new options or choices.

Support and advise on creating interoperable and reusable metadata

  • Leveraging metadata expertise to advise on how to develop interoperable and reusable descriptions of your research data, research outputs, digital materials, etc. 
  • Solutions will be tailored to project scale, communities of practice, etc.

Developing and selecting keywords and abstracts for publications and other research outputs

  • Assisting researchers in thinking through how they would describe their outputs so as to improve retrieval, align their outputs with related materials in repositories and collections, provide keyword enrichment for discovery, etc.

Identifying, selecting, and developing metadata schemas for information organization projects

  • Provide assistance in selecting or augmenting an existing metadata schema or developing a new metadata schema for a variety of projects, particularly for grant-funded research.
  • Working with the individual, develop an understanding of the information objects being described, the users accessing said objects, and how these objects will be managed/curated.
  • Research and recommend extant schemas, if available, or develop new schemas as needed.

Identifying, selecting, and developing controlled vocabularies for information organization projects

  • Provide assistance in selecting or augmenting an existing controlled vocabulary or developing a new controlled vocabulary for a variety of projects.
  • Working with the individual, develop an understanding of how the controlled vocabulary will be used, and how and with whom the metadata using this controlled vocabulary will be shared.
  • Research and recommend extant vocabularies, if available, or develop new vocabularies as needed.

Support conceptual data modeling projects

  • Provide assistance in developing conceptual data models for a variety of domains.

Support undergraduate and graduate courses that feature metadata-rich projects or processes

  • Provide assistance to faculty and students engaged in coursework that involves metadata creation and/or metadata sharing.
  • Support coursework that incorporates digital collections/repositories.

Provide instruction and education on metadata concepts and skills

  • Lectures, workshops, and in-class conversations on a variety of metadata topics.


Sample Projects

  • Consulted on the metadata that powers Sekuru Stories, “a digital monograph featuring the music, stories, and life history of Tute Chigamba, a renowned Zimbabwean musician”.
  • Consulted on best practices for organizing and sharing research data, including identifiers, directory structure, and approaches for managing versioning.
  • Advised on metadata schemas, controlled vocabularies, and creation best practices for a student-focused research data repository project.
  • Consulted on the development of keywords for an interdisciplinary scholarly article, focusing on how keywords are indexed and used in databases and library catalogs to help ensure the article is discovered by its intended audience.
  • Participated in the creation of a new framework for creating and assigning academic job codes.
  • Participate in Data Governance activities at the University and serve as an advisor for RCL Data Stewards.
  • Collaborate with Chief Data Officer and University Information Architects and Information Analysts on conceptual data models that help us define and understand the data that we create and manage as part of our businesses processes.