Facets and other metadata-based functionality used in library interfaces tend to be generic (subject, author, format/type, location, date, language, location), mimicking basic indices (such as the Z39.50 profiles and other catalogue-related standards). They provide a way to limit results and interact with content based on perceived similarities across grossly dissimilar content.
Library and library-related systems have tended to keep facets and metadata-based functionality generic in order to ensure applicability to as much content as possible in the results sets and item displays. In doing this are they truly serving the end user or deceiving them?
Facets and other metadata-driven functionality do not need to be generic. They can be smart. They can provide a way to analyze results and content and answer questions about results sets and the items within them. However, to be smart, the application of facets and metadata has to be smart... algorithimic, based on knowing what the probable domain of knowledge is and what the indexing specific to that domain can offer.
This session focuses on examples of how metadata-based functionality can provide a more focused and navigable experience for the end user, precisely because the experience is based on the user’s subject domain.