[Metadatalibrarians] FW: User comments on digital materials

Williams, Elliot D. edwilliams at miami.edu
Thu Apr 13 12:30:56 PDT 2017

I had some requests to share any responses I got to my question about user comments with the list, so below is a response from Amanda Vinogradov at East Carolina University.  

I'm still very interested in hearing how other folks handle this, if anyone else cares to chime in.

Thanks, all!

Elliot Williams
Digital Initiatives Metadata Librarian
University of Miami Libraries
Coral Gables, FL
edwilliams at miami.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: Vinogradov, Amanda [mailto:VINOGRADOVA at ECU.EDU] 
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2017 2:32 PM
To: Williams, Elliot D. <edwilliams at miami.edu>
Subject: RE: User comments on digital materials

Hello Elliot,

I was forwarded your question and I'm happy to respond as best I can--I'm a metadata technician for special collections materials and am a member of our Digital Collections team. 

The team receives an email whenever a user makes a comment. The chair of the team evaluates the comment for context and forwards to the appropriate team member or outside department for further action. Reference questions are sent to Special Collections Reference, metadata corrections and additions are handled by me, and technical questions are handled by production or programming. 

If a user's comment points out incorrect information in the metadata, we update the record and respond publicly to the user to show that we are interested in having correct information and value their contribution. This also prevents confusion later on when people visit the item record. If we didn't publicly respond and instead updated the record without notice, the user's comment would look misleading.

When the comment is not made to correct our information, but instead to add to it, we handle those comments on a case-by-case basis. If someone comments with the name of a local resident in a photo of several dozen other people, we're probably not going to update the record. We're happy to have the additional information on the page, however, and encourage people to comment with this kind of information. It does appear in search results and adds value to the record. We do update records when the additional information adds noteworthy context. Of course, this is up to interpretation. For example: if we had previously cataloged a photo of an unnamed local building being constructed, and someone was able to identify the building through landmarks surrounding it, we would attempt to verify and update the record from that information.


Amanda Vinogradov
Metadata Technician
Special Collections Cataloging, Metadata, & Authorities
Joyner Library
vinogradova at ecu.edu

-----Original Message-----

From: Dragon, Patricia M 
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2017 1:16 PM
To: Vinogradov, Amanda
Subject: FW: User comments on digital materials

Care to respond to Elliot?

-----Original Message-----
From: Metadatalibrarians [mailto:metadatalibrarians-bounces at lists.monarchos.com] On Behalf Of Williams, Elliot D.
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2017 12:02 PM
To: metadatalibrarians at lists.monarchos.com
Subject: [Metadatalibrarians] User comments on digital materials

Hi all,

Would anyone be willing to share any policies or workflows you have around dealing with user comments on materials in your digital collections?

We allow users to comment on almost all of the materials hosted in our CONTENTdm repository, and I am working on developing a more consistent approach to managing those comments.  I'd love to hear how others deal with user comments, if you allow them.  I'm less worried about spam or inappropriate content (thankfully, we haven't had much of that), and more concerned with how you respond to corrections to metadata or requests from users.  But I'd be glad to hear about any experiences people have.

Thank you!

Elliot Williams
Digital Initiatives Metadata Librarian
University of Miami Libraries
Coral Gables, FL
edwilliams at miami.edu<mailto:edwilliams at miami.edu>


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