Impact of the subject metadata element on the discoverability of repository items on the Web

2019-11-27T04:56:34Z (GMT) by Shipton, Lenka
In most cases the content in digital repositories is accessed using a search engine. In order for this content to be found and used, it needs to be indexed and retrieved by these search engines. The ranking of the content by search engines, i.e. how high in the list of results the content is listed, also has an impact on the discoverability of this content. As it can be difficult to accurately and consistently add subject classification to content in institutional repositories, I investigated if having/not having subject metadata element in the description of these items affects its ranking by search engines, in particular Google search engine. I tested two groups of items in our institutional repository, one with and one without the subject classification in the item record. I reproduced searches for these items recorded by Google Analytics and compared the ranking of the items in the two groups. I found that items with subject metadata element ranked higher using Google search engine than items without subject metadata element.