Inconsistency is a fact of life, and any repository instance or system that wants to avoid bottlenecks is going to have to accept items that have inconsistent metadata (and possibly inconsistent formats and policies, though consistency in those areas may be easier or more important to enforce). That doesn't mean you have to settle for it, though. It's possible to take a progressive approach, where messy metadata comes ...more »
Far from becoming irrelevant, metadata for repository items will
become more important but it will increasingly be created and assigned
remotely. This will be by automated procedures such as indexing and
text analysis and also by users and readers, through the use of
tagging mechanisms. These developments will have implications for
consistency between repositories and between items.
The changes in technology, the diversity of cataloguing practice,
the diversity of ownership and legal considerations and the
possibilities for metadata to be created remotely all mean that
acceptable and achievable recommendations for consistency between
repositories are likely to be broad principles with examples of good
practice rather than prescriptive rules or precise recommendations.
For all practical purposes, the ability to express metadata as the
Dublin Core metadata elements is a sufficient baseline for sharing
repository items across subject and institutional domains.