metadata encoding and transmission standard

n. (METS, abbr.)An Extensible Markup Language (XML) schema used to package digital objects, along with descriptive, administrative, and structural metadata.


METS 2019 Maintaining a library of digital objects of necessity requires maintaining metadata about those objects. The metadata necessary for successful management and use of digital objects is both more extensive than and different from the metadata used for managing collections of printed works and other physical materials. While a library may record descriptive metadata regarding a book in its collection, the book will not dissolve into a series of unconnected pages if the library fails to record structural metadata regarding the book's organization, nor will scholars be unable to evaluate the book's worth if the library fails to note that the book was produced using a Ryobi offset press. The same cannot be said for a digital version of the same book. Without structural metadata, the page image or text files comprising the digital work are of little use, and without technical metadata regarding the digitization process, scholars may be unsure of how accurate a reflection of the original the digital version provides. For internal management purposes, a library must have access to appropriate technical metadata in order to periodically refresh and migrate the data, ensuring the durability of valuable resources. ΒΆ The Making of America II project (MOA2) attempted to address these issues in part by providing an encoding format for descriptive, administrative, and structural metadata for textual and image-based works. METS, a Digital Library Federation initiative, attempts to build upon the work of MOA2 and provide an XML document format for encoding metadata necessary for both management of digital library objects within a repository and exchange of such objects between repositories (or between repositories and their users). Depending on its use, a METS document could be used in the role of Submission Information Package (SIP), Archival Information Package (AIP), or Dissemination Information Package (DIP) within the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model.