I joined the Internet Studies Research Group, (ISRG)* at the Department of Information Science, City University in January 2000. Under the supervision of Professor David Nicholas and Dr. Tamara Eisenschitz, I investigated the use and functionality of metadata registry systems, as perceived by current users of the registry systems.
Metadata registries are systems that store authoritative information about the structure and the semantic representation of metadata. We adopted a user centred approach to our study and we applied a combination of methods such as online surveys, log transactions analysis and interviews to assess the use and functionality of registry services. We believe that in fields of research that are new and innovative (such as digital information/services and their use) the combination of methods is the best approach to research as it allow us to complement limitations and exploit the strengths of each method in order, to get credible and representative of use results. Findings from our research indicate that metadata registry systems are important components in the process of data standardisation and data management and consequently in the organisation of digital information. The development of software to support mappings across the elements of different metadata element sets is expected to trigger future research in the evaluation of metadata registry systems. User needs assessment at the initial stages of the implementation of metadata registry systems ensures that systems are developed to meet their user requirements. Understanding about the context of use of the retrieved information helps to improve the provision of metadata registry system services.
My research investigated the System of Registries at the Environmental Protection Agency, USA ; the MetaForm registry system at the University of Goettingen, Germany and the SCHEMAS project at the UKOLN, UK .
* The Internet Studies Research Group (ISRG) reformed to what is currently known as the Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research (CIBER), and since 2004 moved to University College London, SLAIS .