Oksana Zavalina to present "Collection-level Subject Access: Metadata Application and Use"

February 18, 2010

Oksana PhotoOksana Zavalina will be on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus Monday, March 1, 2010 to present, "Collection-level Subject Access: Metadata Application and Use." The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will take place in room 14 of Manning Hall (ground level) at 2 p.m.

(NOTE: For those who attend the presentation, please complete the survey that will be available here following the event.)

Studies of subject access to date have focused primarily on item-level information discovery and access. We still know little about subject access to collection-level information in aggregated digital resources. This research seeks to bridge this gap by seeking answers to the question:

How does collection-level metadata mediate scholarly subject access to aggregated digital collections?

The study includes:

  • comparative content analysis of collection-level metadata in three large-scale aggregations of cultural heritage digital collections: Opening History, American Memory, and The European Library.
  • transaction log analysis of user interactions with Opening History aggregation
  • interview and observation of scholarly users (faculty historians and doctoral candidates in history) using two aggregations: Opening History and American Memory.

The results of this research demonstrate that subject-based resource discovery is influenced by collection-level metadata richness. The latter includes such components as 1) the use of different metadata fields with mutually-complementing values for describing collection’s subject matter and 2) variety of collection properties/characteristics encoded in the free-text Description field. Description and Subjects metadata fields are found to play the most important role in supplying matches to the collection-level user search terms, most of which fall within FRBR concept, object, and/or place categories.

About Oksana Zavalina
Oksana Zavalina is a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science and a Research Assistant in IMLS-funded Digital Collections and Content project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She earned her MLIS degree from the UIUC in 2002, and her BA degree in library science from the Kiev State Institute of Culture, Ukraine, in 1993. Oksana worked in both public and technical services at the academic and research libraries, including the National Parliamentary Library of Ukraine, National University Kyiv Mohyla Academy Library, Yale University Library, and University of Illinois Library. The research of Oksana’s dissertation, Collection-Level Subject Access: Metadata Application and Use, lies in the area of information organization and access in digital libraries. Oksana also has research interests, teaching experience and extensive practical experience in the areas of cataloging and classification, metadata, and subject analysis. Her other areas of interest and expertise include, indexing and abstracting, information use and users’ studies, as well as international librarianship.