Metadata Usage Tendencies in Latin American Electronic Journals
Coto Solano, Rolando Alberto
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The present study investigates the extent to which metadata tags are used in Latin American electronic journals, and whether these journals in fact provide basic information (abstracts, keywords, etc.) that could be tagged as metadata. The authors also studied multilingualism in the marked-up information and in the basic information, particularly the use of English (which can help bring the scientific production of Latin America to a wider audience). In total, 45% of the journals had metadata; the metatags keywords and description were the most commonly used. The inclusion of structured metadata from the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set in the journals was found to be very low, only 13%, and primarily existed in journals from Argentina, Costa Rica, and Brazil. The articles examined did not always include abstracts and keywords (84% and 77% respectively), but in the articles that did have them, English was frequently used (85% in abstracts and 91% in keywords). The <title> element was found to be used deficiently: Only 42% of full text OA articles had their actual title in the <title> tag, which can potentially affect visibility in a search engine results. In sum, the road to marked-up metadata in all journals is still long, and there are great inconsistencies in how metadata are employed and in their content. The authors conclude that there are signs that support and efforts to increase awareness of how metadata can easily be included in a journal’s web site may result in improved metadata and greater visibility.