Between Commodification and Engagement: On the Double-Edged Impact of User-Generated Metadata within the Cultural Heritage Sector Articles uri icon

publication date

  • September 2011

start page

  • 707

end page

  • 720


  • 4


  • 59

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0024-2594

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1559-0682


  • This article challenges common assumptions and opinions regarding the use of the social web by cultural heritage institutions by framing the phenomenon of user-generated metadata within the larger context of the commodification and the engagement process of our cultural heritage. Theoretical reflections on both the negative and positive long-term outcomes of the social web for libraries, archives, and museums are presented and confronted with empirical observations regarding the use of social tagging and user comments. This combination of a theoretical and an empirical approach will provide original insights into the long-term implications of user-generated metadata for cultural heritage institutions.


  • Library Science and Documentation