Description ecosystem

We record description data related to our materials to make information retrieval possible. Description data is a part of the description ecosystem.

All parts of our description ecosystem will be renewed in the next few years:

  • the structure and grouping of description data
  • description operations partners
  • description tools

The renewal of the description ecosystem will also affect information retrieval.

New description targets

International standards determine what is selected as a description target at libraries. Like national libraries of many other countries, the National Library of Finland has taken into use the international RDA (Resource Description and Access) description standard, which steers towards describing universal targets, such as works, operators and places, and to link these description data together. This way description and information retrieval will become increasingly networked internationally.

International and national description repositories, such as national bibliographies, thesauri and registers, will be rearranged as a result of the change in description targets. Description data repositories are nodes in the description data network. As information retrieval becomes increasingly diverse, the role of the steering description data repositories will increase. They make information retrieval more comprehensive.

New cooperation partners

The rearranged description data repositories will also enable new partnerships in the production of description data. Alongside library and publisher cooperation, new description partnerships are being created with archives, museums and research in the description of operators related to the materials. Public administration as a whole, cooperates in the production of various thesauri. Our internationally most important cooperation partners are other national libraries, which are responsible for the description of publications and related operators in their countries.

In addition to the increased efficiency of description data production, cooperation aims at improving the quality of description data, which is reflected in the relevance of information retrieval.

Change in description tools

New cooperation methods will also bring about changes in description data production processes, which requires renewal if description tools. Integrability and modularity are required from information systems and description interfaces. During the work process, a person drawing up a description should be able to utilise information decentralised in various systems using a single work interface. In addition, cooperation partners will require work interfaces tailored for their own processes.

Current tools are not easy to integrate or modulate. Production tools corresponding to the new description needs are not yet available internationally.  In the future, one possible solution for developing these tools could be a development partnership between libraries, archives and museums.

National support during change

We will be renewing our description services during the next few years. It is our aim to increasingly highlight those national expert services, which promote the implementation of change in the description ecosystem in Finland. In order to consolidate cooperation, the operations of national description expert networks, such as  Description standard group  Kumea, will be activated further. Networked description data requires networked operations.