Metadata standards existing today range from very complex to very simple. Relative simplicity or complexity of metadata standards depends in large part on the resources for which they were created and the depth of description that is deemed necessary to make these resources accessible. This paper reviews the differences between metadata standards and current cataloging practices, and discusses how the various metadata standards are applied in libraries. In addressing these issues, the authors introduce definitions of key concepts of metadata and cataloging standards and provide an overview of the most common metadata schemes. The discussion of current cataloging practices includes an overview of the most commonly used cataloging practices and standards, the impact of metadata on library practice and the role of librarians related to metadata. The authors will discuss the OHIOLINK Electronic Thesis and Dissertations (ETD) as an example of how Anglo‐American Cataloging Rules 2nd (AACR2) and Machine Readable Cataloging (MARC21) are used as metadata to store, describe and access this unique information resource.
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