Libraries increasingly rely on publishers to provide metadata for the e-book packages they buy/license. However, so far, the majority of publisher-provided metadata have not conformed to library practices and standards. Very often, the data is not in MARC format, and names have not been linked to authorized headings (although there are some who think this is no longer that important for electronic materials …).
In order to increase e-book metadata quality, the Bavarian library network has a model in place where for one year one library “adopts” one e-book package, taking responsibility for improving that package’s metadata (which includes adding subject headings, doing authority work and, where possible, linking print version and e-book). These automatic and manual improvements are then shared cooperatively.
In a wider context, the working group of German and Austrian library networks came up with a paper laying out metadata requirements for publishers. It is entitled “Anforderungen der deutschsprachigen Verbundsysteme und der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek an Metadatenlieferungen zu E-Books und E-Book-Paketen” and can be found in German here.
One condition this metadata has to meet is that libraries have the right to change and improve it and share it within consortia. It has to be supplied as soon as possible after the resources become available to make them findable expeditiously. MARC, ONIX and UTF-8 are acceptable. A core set of metadata elements (including identifiers) is defined and mapped to MARC and ONIX (with examples). Delivery is intended to be via OAI or FTP. Does such a paper exist anywhere else? I wonder what the take-up on the part of the publishers will be – is it the shared responsibility of libraries and publishers to make e-books accessible through the library catalog?