News & Events

Alice B. Kroeger Distinguished Lecture Series: Juliane Schneider

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Metadata Research Center is honored to have metadata expert and Drexel graduate, Juliane Schneider, present the 2022 Alice B. Kroeger Distinguished Lecture.

Presenter: Juliane Schneider, Senior Bioinformatics Analyst/Data Liaison, Sage Bionetworks
Date: Thursday, March 31st
Time: 12:00 PM EDT
Location: Zoom Registration Link
Participants must register in order to attend.
Title: Metadata: Attitude and Practice Change

Read more about the upcoming talk and presenter below.


Metadata has changed dramatically in the last 50 years, due to and driven by the internet, and advances in data analysis. This has caused a major shift in libraries, especially in what we call cataloging: the application of information about an item to describe it for purposes of discovery, and to link it to objects with similar properties using communal schemas and descriptors. What was once applying explicit information to a book, journal or object has expanded to considerations of contextual meaning, relationships and even the behavior of those things given a specific set of circumstances. We are now also describing digital objects like ebooks and datasets.

The development of algorithms and other computational methods to analyze and work with data has also driven a total change in how institutions, especially academic institutions, view data. Raw data was once the unwanted dross of research – large, bulky, expensive-to-maintain sets of data that was difficult to understand or work with. The citable publication, with graphs and charts of processed data was the desired research output. Raw data, and increasingly the software created to analyze it during the research process is now considered to hold possibilities for continued discoveries. What was once considered a liability is now considered a monetizable, researchable asset due to computational tools that allow fast, cheaper, analysis (notice that I didn’t say better!). Best practices for how these assets are created, described, credited and preserved is a global conversation that still has no consensus, but there are some trends to be seen.

My career in librarianship and metadata began in 1997, at the start of this change in metadata and data, and I’ve followed it through jobs in startups doing indexing, designing bibliographic databases for publishers and finally into academic librarianship and scientific nonprofits, doing research data management in all its messy glory. In this presentation, I’ll talk about this change in attitudes and practice in metadata and data through stories from my career, good and bad, silly and serious.


In a 20-year career specializing in metadata, ontologies and discovery, Juliane Schneider has worked in start-ups, on Wall Street in an insurance library, at NYU medical center, for EBSCO publishing, and at UC San Diego in the Research Data Curation Program. She has also worked for Harvard University as a Metadata Librarian at Harvard Medical School, and as a Team Lead/Data Curator for Harvard Catalyst | Clinical and Translational Science Center. She holds an MSLS/MSIS dual degree from Drexel University. Currently, she is a Data Liaison/Project Coordinator for Sage Bionetworks, where she coordinates the data contributions from over sixty grants dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease and mental disorders. Throughout her career, Juliane has seen metadata change from a limited set of descriptors manually attached to an item, to a powerful network of information controlling not only description but behavior and semantically complex transactions, with all of the ethical concerns that those present.

Juliane has held leadership roles in Special Libraries Association and the Research Data Alliance, and has participated in IASSIST and RDAP meetings. She is a certified Carpentries Instructor and has taught workshops on data management at libraries across North America and Ireland. She is currently participating in FAIR initiatives and is a member of GO FAIR-US.