As the second decade of the twenty-first century commences, academic librarians who work to promote collection access must not only contend with a vast array of content available in a wide range of formats, but they must also ensure that new technologies developed to accommodate user search behaviors yield satisfactory outcomes. Next generation discovery tools are designed to streamline the search process and facilitate better search results by incorporating metadata from proprietary and local collections, then by providing relevancy-ranked results. This paper investigates the implications of discovery tool use for accessing materials housed in institutional repositories and special collections, in particular, how the discovery of these materials depends on local metadata creation practices. This paper surveys current research pertaining to metadata quality issues that may put unique local collections at risk for being overlooked in meta-search relevancy rankings, and considers ways in which academic libraries can address this issue as well as areas for future research.

About Author

Mary completed her MLIS in May 2011, and works at Palo Alto University in California, where she was recently appointed as a Technical Services Librarian.