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Baltimore, MD - January 18, 2017 - The National Information Standards
Organization (NISO) continues its Primer Series with the publication
of *Understanding
Metadata <http://www.niso.org/publications/press/understanding_metadata>*.
This comprehensive overview of information about an item's creation, name,
topic, features, and more updates NISO's 2004 advice on the subject and
follows on the *Research Data Management
<http://www.niso.org/apps/group_public/download.php/15375/PrimerRDM-2015-0727.pdf>*
Primer published in 2015. An additional such work, *Linked Data for
Cultural Institutions*, is forthcoming, and more guides will be published
periodically.

"It's crucial for NISO to build understanding of technical issues at
various levels and for various audiences," says NISO Executive Director
Todd Carpenter. "Our Primers are therefore written to provide guidance for
expert information managers who are already working with metadata as well
as for professionals who are less familiar with information exchange
issues. NISO values the opportunity to offer this guidance," Carpenter
continues, "because in a digital world, information about content can often
be more important than the content itself. Without good metadata,
information effectively disappears."

The Primer, authored by Jenn Riley, Associate Dean, Digital Initiatives,
McGill University Library, demystifies a type of information that is
ubiquitous in our lives but that can be challenging to produce, store, and
understand. Coverage includes topics such as metadata types,
standardization, and use in the cultural heritage sector and in the broader
world. The Primer is accompanied by plentiful examples of metadata at work.

"I am honored to have been asked to update *Understanding Metadata*, a NISO
resource that has been helpful to me throughout my career, when learning
about metadata and teaching others about it," says Riley. "Much has changed
in the area of cultural heritage metadata since the original publication of
this resource in 2004. I hope that the introduction of some new concepts
into the Primer, such as Linked Data, is useful to our community for many
years to come."

The NISO Primer *Understanding Metadata*, like its series companions, is
licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons-BY-NC 4.0 license. It is
available as a free download from the NISO website at: http://www.niso.org/
publications/press/understanding_metadata.

*About NISO*
NISO fosters the development and maintenance of standards that facilitate
the creation, persistent management, and effective interchange of
information so that it can be trusted for use in research and learning. To
fulfill this mission, NISO engages libraries, publishers, information
aggregators, and other organizations that support learning, research, and
scholarship through the creation, organization, management, and curation of
knowledge. NISO works with intersecting communities of interest and across
the entire lifecycle of an information standard. NISO is a not-for-profit
association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
More information about NISO is available on its website: http://www.niso.org.