Dear TARO community,
Thank you all who participated in the Index Terms survey we sent out in May. We are writing to share with you the results of the survey and to let you know that the TARO Steering Committee will further investigate/peruse the Metadata Hopper software option based on feedback received from survey. See below for survey results.
Question 1: Is your repository able to check all Index Terms (Names, Subjects, Document Types, and Titles) in the <controlaccess> section in your EAD files before uploading to TARO to verify that the terms match the authorized version of the term and that the encodinganalog and source attribute values are assigned correctly?
The majority of responders indicated that they do check all their terms or at least try to verify them. Some are not able to check them and others are not sure whether this is done before upload to TARO.
Question 2: Do you believe your repository has the necessary resources (staff time and expertise) to retrospectively review your EAD files’ <controlaccess> terms and edit them as needed to use the authorized vocabulary terms if TARO provided a report of what terms need to be updated?
Several people indicated that they believe their institution has the resources or can plan for the next fiscal year to embark on a project to do a data clean-up project. The comments indicate that people could do a cleanup project (after TARO provided a report) as long as there was ample time (no tight deadlines); responders asking for flexibility.
Question 3: In addition to controlled lists of local terms would it cause practical/logistical problems for your institution if TARO decided to require that EAD files use specific controlled vocabularies, such as Library of Congress Name Authority File and Subject Headings, and Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus, for <controlaccess> terms going forward?
Most people replied that they do not foresee any problems if TARO required a controlled vocabulary but asked for the flexibility of still being able to use some local terms that follow controlled vocabulary conventions (e.g. follow LCNAF conventions to create an entry). Again people ask for flexibility and/or training (specifically referring to AAT).
Question 4: Would your repository be willing to have its TARO finding aids sorted into broad TARO subject categories to enhance user experience in browsing? For an example, see the Chicago Collections site (http://explore.chicagocollections.org/)
Good news! Nearly everyone who responded said their institution would be willing to have broad subject terms applied to their finding aids. There was one blank response and one person said that this would be okay as long as there was no additional work incurred on their staff.
Question 5: Do you have additional comments or questions?
Most people had no comments. Five comments were submitted (mainly from Steering Committee members).
TARO Steering Committee