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We strongly recommend that descriptive metadata accompany each digital object. Metadata are critical to managing digital collections and providing meaningful reports. We are aware that you most likely have descriptive metadata about each object, stored in MARC, MODS, METS, or some other format. If you have metadata records, we will store and preserve them as part of the digital object. To preserve metadata records with a digital object, we recommend that you create a container file (.zip or .tar) include all object component files as well as the metadata files and submit the container file to Merritt.
Merritt also enables you to use metadata to discover and manage content in the repository. You can provide information about title, creator (author), date and local identifier either by typing in metadata on the Add Object form, by using a batch manifest, or by submitting a mrt-erc.txt file with the object. This guide will help you choose the best approach. Note that elements contained within associated metadata files such as METS or MARC will be preserved but not searchable. If these files contain title or author information, you will also need to provide that data via the Add Object form, a manifest or an mrt-erc.txt file.
The Metadata Elements
Merritt uses Dublin Core Kernel Metadata, also expressed as Electronic Resource Citations (ERCs), to provide access to content. These four elements can have different names depending on the means of submission:
|ERC (mrt-erc.txt file)||Dublin Core||Add Object Screen||Manifest File|
Not only are all of these elements searchable in Merritt, but the local identifier element can be used to edit content. (If you have a large number of objects to edit, you can submit a batch manifest that specifies the local identifiers of the objects to be edited along with the revised content - see Editing Objects for details.) At this time these elements are not repeatable.
Metadata Submission Options
|IF YOU HAVE:||THE BEST METADATA OPTION IS:|
|A small number of objects (either single files or container files).||Fill in the metadata form directly from the Add Object page.|
|A large number of objects.
Scenario: you do not have in-house programmers to write scripts and/or you already have object information in a spreadsheet.
|Use the merrittManifest.xls spreadsheet to create a batch manifest for the object that includes metadata elements.
See the guide to Manifests for more information.
|A large number of objects.
Scenario: you have in-house programming skills to create lightweight scripts. You already have metadata about these objects which you can derive from XML or other formats.
|Create scripts to:
* Derive the object metadata and generate a mrt-erc.txt file for each object.
* Either generate an object manifest or a container file for each object.
* Generate a batch manifest for all objects and submit via the Add Object page.
The ERC format
The Electronic Resource Citation specification is meant to be lightweight and easy-to-supply and provides easy-to-read, meaningful information about the object. We'll use the ERC metadata you supply in reports about your digital objects and collections. For further details, see the Electronic Resource Citation Specification
Sample ERC file:
erc: who: (:unkn) unknown what: Jazz for the bears when: 1920-1932 where: 2001697390
If you are using the ERC method, be sure to name the file mrt-erc.txt and either include it in a container file with the object or reference it in an object manifest file.