School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 532 Outline

LIS 532: Metadata
Course Outline

Fall 2018


Instructor: Dr. Lei Zhang
Office hours
: Email or Adobe Connect by appointment

Calendar Description:

This course introduces students to the concept, development, applications and evaluation of metadata in various digital information contexts. Through a combination of practical exercises, students will critically examine metadata issues, standards, and best practices, and will evaluate the role of metadata in online discovery and access systems.

Course Objectives:

  • To develop familiarity with the practical and theoretical aspects of description of and access to resources in the current digital information environment
  • To develop metadata for various information packages
  • To critically examine metadata issues, standards and practices
  • To develop a critical understanding of classification systems and standards

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

Upon completion of the course, a student should be able to:

  • apply standards and best practices used for creating and encoding metadata in North American libraries
  • critically analyze and evaluate the underlying principles applied in describing and classifying information objects through metadata and classification systems
  • draw upon best practices in metadata application to assess and critique metadata creation and implementation in the context of web-based search and retrieval systems
  • provide criticism of current standards for description and access, and offer constructive suggestions for their enhancement


  • Descriptive cataloguing of resources using RDA (Resource Description and Access)
  • Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR)
  • Subject access to resources using controlled vocabularies, e.g., Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
  • Classification of resources using Library of Congress Classification (LCC)
  • Encoding of metadata records using standards such as MARC21 and XML
  • Metadata standards for digital libraries, e.g., Dublin Core (DC), Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS)
  • Specialized metadata by discipline, format, or community
  • Metadata as linked data, e.g., Bibliographic Initiative Framework (BIBFRAME)
  • Metadata interoperability and assessment


Lectures, readings, online discussions, exercises, and projects.

Course Relationships:

Prerequisites: LIS 501, 502

Required Texts:

Chan, L.M., & Salaba, A. (2016). Cataloging and classification: An introduction (4th ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Other readings will be provided on eClass.

Assignments and Weighting:

Exercises (5)                                      40%
Cataloguing Manual Project               
Metadata Assessment Project            15%

Discussion & Participation                 

Details of the assignments will be posted on eClass. 

Late Assignment Policy:

All assignments should be submitted to eClass by the date and time indicated on the assignment instructions. Late assignments will be subject to a penalty of 10% per day (including weekends). If an extension is required in cases of illness or emergency, please email the instructor in advance to make those arrangements.

School of Library and Information Studies Grading Statement:

Grades reflect professional judgements of student achievement made by instructors. These judgements are based on a combination of absolute achievement and relative performance in class. The instructor should mark in terms of raw scores, rank the assignments in order of merit, and with due attention to the verbal descriptions of the various grades, assign an appropriate final letter grade. Grades are calculated in accordance with the SLIS Grading Procedure.

Academic Integrity:

The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty.  Students are expected to be familiar with these stands regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect.  Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behavior (online at and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offense and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Students should also be mindful of the SLIS Copyright Policy (

Inclusive Language and Equity:

The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of respect for all people within the university community and to educating faculty, staff and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation and ethnic background. Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability or chronic health condition affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Student Accessibility Services.

Recording of Lectures:

Audio or video recording, digital or otherwise, of lectures, labs, seminars or any other teaching environment by students is allowed only with the prior written consent of the instructor or as a part of an approved accommodation plan. Student or instructor content, digital or otherwise, created and/or used within the context of the course is to be used solely for personal study, and is not to be used or distributed for any other purpose without prior written consent from the content author(s).

Policy about academic regulations can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.