The Errors of Our Ways: Using Metadata Quality Research to Understand Common Error Patterns in the Application of Name Headings

  • Katherine M. Wisser
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 478)


Using data culled during a metadata quality research project for the Social Network and Archival Context (SNAC) project, this article discusses common errors and problems in the use of standardized languages, specifically unambiguous names for persons and corporate bodies. Errors such as misspelling, qualifiers, format, and miss-encoding point to several areas where quality control measures can improve aggregation of data. Results from a large data set indicate that there are predictable problems that can be retrospectively corrected before aggregation. This research looked specifically at name formation and expression in metadata records, but the errors detected could be extended to other controlled vocabularies as well.


Metadata Quality assessment Authority control Data utilization MARC Encoded Archival Description Encoded Archival Context-Corporate Bodies Persons and Families 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine M. Wisser
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Library and Information ScienceSimmons CollegeBostonUSA

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