If anybody can create metadata components, how can you still search through the resulting metadata descriptions?

Submitted by Dieter Van Uytvanck on 23 September 2009

There are indeed issues with searching if people aren't using matching descriptions. Think of someone calling a collection of texts a "text collection", while someone else might be searching for a "(text) corpus". A person can also be labelled a "speaker", "participant", "actor", "author", and so forth. Or think of all the variants that people can use for one and the same country: "the Netherlands", "Nederland", "Netherlands", "Holland", etc. The same goes for lingustic annotations: "noun" and "substantive" can both be used to describe the same part-of-speech tag. To counter these problems the metadata components contain links to a kind of database that contains atomic concepts (say "country" or "resource type"). Smart software will later on be able to "see" that if a user searches for nouns, he might also be interested in substantives, because they either refer to the same concept, or the concepts are marked as related.