Research Output
A View of the Interface between Ethics and Metadata
  Despite its advantages in improving access to information, metadata has the potential to cause harm, if used inappropriately. For instance, mass surveillance of phone calls can be used by intelligence agencies to target individuals. Language use can reinforce prejudices; poor language control undermines the efficiency of subject searches; and the opacity of discovery systems reduces the effectiveness of retrieval systems. There are also concerns about who owns the intellectual property associated with metadata creation. The talk concluded with a description of two proposed initiatives: by ISKO to investigate ways of improving metadata use in information discovery systems; and the recruitment for a fully-funded PhD studentship at Edinburgh Napier University to investigate the ethics of metadata.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    29 November 2023

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • Funders:

    Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel; Edinburgh Napier Funded


Haynes, D. (2023). A View of the Interface between Ethics and Metadata. Brazilian Journal of Information Science, 17, Article e023053.



Metadata, Ethics, Privacy, State Surveillance, Information Retrieval, Controlled Languages, Information Discovery System

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