The “Wicked Problem” of Neutral Description: Toward a Documentation Approach to Metadata Standards Academic Article uri icon


  • © Kara Long, Santi Thompson, Sarah Potvin, and Monica Rivero. Increasingly, metadata standards have been recognized as constructed rather than neutral. In this article, we argue for the importance of a documentation approach to metadata standards creation as a codification of this growing recognition. By making design decisions explicit, the documentation approach dispels presumptions of neutrality and, drawing on the “wicked problems” theoretical framework, acknowledges the constructed nature of standards as “clumsy solutions.”

altmetric score

  • 3.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Long, K., Thompson, S., Potvin, S., & Rivero, M.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • March 2017