Metadata and Electronic Document Management for Electronic Commerce

Digital Library

Tom Worthington

Version of 15 August 2008

This item on "Digital Library" is one of a segment on"Metadata and Electronic Document Management for Electronic Commerce" first presented for the Australian National University course "Information Technology in Electronic Commerce" (COMP3410/COMP6341).

This document is intended to provide both for live group presentation and accompanying lecture notes for individual use. The Slides and these notes are provided in the one HTML document, using HTML Slidy.

The Digital Library

  1. e-Government Policy
  2. Types of Sites
  3. Users
  4. Marketing
  5. Visual Design and Branding
  6. Legal Issues
  7. Managing Content
  8. Types of Content
  9. Accessibility and Equity
  10. Technical Development
  11. Archiving and Preservation
  12. Maintaining and Evaluating

Adapted from: "Web Publishing Guide", Australian Government Information Management Office, 2007-05-31, URL:

The Digital Library allows access to electronic documents, while respecting the intellectual property rights of the author. Before the web, the distinction between internal organisation documents and external publishing was clear. With the advent of the web, these distinctions are disappearing and there is a tendency to use the same technology for creating and indexing internal documents and for external document publishing. However, the legal distinctions remain and business practice has not caught up with technological developments. Therefore "publishing" for the electronic library remains a separate and distinct activity.

A good overview of e-publishing issues is provided in the Australian Government Information Management Office's Web Publishing Guide. The guidelines require the use of the AGLS metadata.

Publishing Mistakes Are Dangerous

Sirs: Recently we found out that our abstract "Severe Tardive Dystonia: Treatment with Continuous Intrathecal Baclofen Administration" (J Neurol 243 Suppl 2: S75) contains a severe and potentially dangerous mistake.

The dose of intrathecal baclofen in the patient presented was 100 mg/day rather than 100 g/day. The abstract submitted as well as the computer disk (Microsoft Word for Windows Version 2.0b) additionally handed in for electronic publication contained the correct figure spelled with the Greek character "m".

Investigations into this subject revealed that occasionally special characters may be misinterpreted by different versions of the same wordprocessing programme ...

From: "Risks of electronic publishing", D. Dressler, page 61, Letters to the Editors, Journal of Neurology, Steinkopff Verlag , Volume 244, Number 1/November 28, 1996, URL:

Publishing, even academic publishing, is a significant economic activity and can also have significant effects on the lives of the public. This example from the Journal of Neurology contains a potentially dangerous mistake

Library Metadata

The new Bibliotheca Alexandrina will be officially opened by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at a ceremony attended by other heads of state and top officials.

Based on the old Library of Alexandra, the most famous library of Ancient Times, this modern public study centre will be open to students, researchers and the general public. ...

From: " Inauguration of the Alexandria Library", UNESCO, 2002

Libraries, such as the ANU Library, now provide web based search facilities which look similar to web search engines. They look like web search engines partly because web search engines evolved from concepts of libraries and partly because on-line library users are now used to web search interfaces.

It should be appreciated that libraries have been in the information business for longer than IT professionals. As an example the Library of Alexandria was destroyed by fire about 2000 years ago and opened again in 2003, with a web site.

On-line Public Access Catalog (OPAC)

Author Aristotle, 384-322 B.C.
Title Athenaion Politeia / Aristoteles; Edidit Mortimer Chambers.
Publisher Stuttgart : B.G. Teubner, 1994.
Call Number 089.81
Description xx, 84p., [4]p. of Plates : Plates ; 20cm.
Series Stmt Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana ; No. 1113

From: "On-line Public Access Catalog (OPAC)", Bibliotheca Alexandrina, URL:

Libraries are progressively changing from paper based to electronic systems, first for metadata and then for the information resources themselves.

Library metadata

Search the ANU Library Catalogue (ANU material only)

Search By: Search Call Numbers: Title/Series

From: Australian National University (ANU) Scholarly Information Services / Library Catalogue - ANU Material Only, ANU, 2003, URL:

Libraries use specialised terms for metadata items. Some of these persist in library systems, such as the need to type in author names backwards, with the family name first.

Catalogues adapted to paper and e-documents

Author Bourk, Michael J

Title Universal service? : telecommunications policy in Australia and people with disabilities / Michael J Bourk ; edited by Tom Worthington

Published Belconnen, A.C.T. : TomW Communications, 2000

Click on the following to:

View electronic text





HV1559.A8B682 2000


From: " ANU Full Database", ANU, 2003

As with corporate records management systems, library catalogues have been adapted to record both paper and electronic documents. The ANU library catalogue includes links to on-line versions of documents, where available.

MAchine-Readable Cataloging (MARC) Format

050 HV1559.A8B682 2000

100 1 Bourk, Michael J

245 10 Universal service? :|btelecommunications policy in

Australia and people with disabilities /|cMichael J Bourk

; edited by Tom Worthington

246 3 Telecommunications policy in Australia and people with


260 Belconnen, A.C.T. :|bTomW Communications,|c2000

300 xiv, 273 p. ;|c21 cm

From: From: " ANU Full Database", ANU

The same catalogue information can also be displayed in the MARC format, developed in the 1970s for "MAchine-Readable Cataloging"' by libraries. This format uses numeric codes to identify each metadata item.

MARC adapted to XML

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>

<collection xmlns="">



<datafield tag="245" ind1="1" ind2="0">

<subfield code="a">Arithmetic /</subfield>

<subfield code="c">Carl Sandburg ; illustrated as an anamorphic adventure by Ted Rand.</subfield>





From: URL:

As with other metadata formats, MARC is being adapted to XML formats.

MARC to Dublin Core

<?xml version="1.0" ?>

<dc xmlns="">

<title>Arithmetic /</title>

<creator>Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967.</creator>

<creator>Rand, Ted, ill.</creator>

<type />

<publisher>San Diego :Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,</publisher>





From: URL:
see: MARC 21 XML Schema, The Library of Congress, 2003, URL:

However, it is more useful if the metadata is converted to Dublin Core format for use in non-library systems.

© Tomw Communciations Pty Ltd 2006 - 2008

Creative Commons License
Metadata and Electronic Document Management for Electronic Commerce by Tom Worthington is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License.

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