March 21, 2023
Day/time: May 11, 2023, 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. ETD
Title: Metadata for Everyone: Identifying Metadata Quality Issues across Cultures
Presenter: Julie Shi, Digital Preservation Librarian, Scholars Portal
Description: Metadata is crucial to the dissemination and communication of research. Well-formed metadata facilitates discovery and access and provides contextual, technical, and administrative information in a standard form. Yet metadata are also sites of tension between sociocultural representations, resource constraints, and standardized systems. Formal and informal interventions in metadata spaces may be interpreted as metadata quality issues, political acts to assert identity, or strategic curatorial choices to maximize discoverability and visibility. In this context, we engaged with Crossref on the Metadata for Everyone project to understand how metadata quality, consistency, and completeness impact individuals and communities.
Working from a sample of records known to have erroneous, incomplete, or otherwise imperfect metadata, this project set out to identify and classify the issues stemming from how metadata and communities press up against each other to intentionally reflect (or not) cultural meanings. Beginning with an overview of the context and our qualitative approach, this presentation will go on to discuss various metadata quality issues that were identified and the typology we developed to better understand them. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings and describing next steps.
Title: Puppies as a Veneer for Cheering Genocide: How Should a Press React When an Accepted Manuscript is Problematic?
- Abram Shalom Himelstein, Editor-in-Chief, University of New Orleans Press
- Chelsey Shannon, Editor, University of New Orleans Press
Description: It was good enough to make it into the accepted stack, but a deeper editorial dive found racist language and a pro-colonial genocide epistemological framing in a book about a certain dog breed. This editorial crisis coincided with the national reckoning in the summer following the murder of George Floyd, and the collective conversation about structural racism underpinned our analysis of how we had arrived at this moment: with a racist book, a signed contract, and an author who was ready to dig in his heels.
In working through the manuscript and this blunder, we created a language through which we figured out how to move forward, both with the manuscript and as an office, creating policies and processes to prevent a recurrence of such a problematic manuscript in the accepted stack.
Chelsey Shannon (she/her[s]), editor of the University of New Orleans Press, raised the alarm and began the conversation. Ultimately, Chelsey created a heuristic for (future) manuscript intake and consideration, and editor-in-chief Abram Shalom Himelstein (he/his) took on the role of demanding changes from the author or, in the case of refusal, withdrawing the publication agreement. (Hi… it is us writing about ourselves in the third person.)
This stumbling block ultimately moved the Press toward a systematized way both of evaluating possible acquisitions and of distributing the psychically difficult work of dealing with authors who are unwilling to engage honestly with the racism and other forms of prejudice in their work and make changes.