The need for addressing multilingualism, ambiguity and interoperability for visual resources management across metadata platforms


  • Denise Russo Hudson Valley Community College
  • Abebe Rorissa University at Albany



Visual Resources Management, Lexical Ambiguity, Interoperability, Metadata Platforms, non-Roman script, Mapping, Digitizing


The digitization of visual resources and the creation of corresponding metadata that meets the criteria of clarity and interoperability, while also approaching the needs of the multilingual Web, are pressing concerns. Because visual resources make up a significant percentage of digital information, this paper focuses on the aforementioned concerns and proposes ways to address them, including swift progression and adoption of cohesive, multi-user, multilingual metadata standardization to improve digital access and to allow all descriptive image metadata to be approachable and translatable. We offer some recommendations such as those involved in visual resource management moving away from using primarily the English writing system based metadata schemas in order to provide flexible lexicon in non-Roman languages, which can easily be recognized and interpreted by both monolingual and multilingual users alike as well as facilitate digital metadata interoperability.

Author Biographies

Denise Russo, Hudson Valley Community College

Instructional Content Developer in the Department of Distance and Online Learning at Hudson Valley Community College, SUNY. She has taught at the graduate level at UNC-Greensboro, Adelphi University and St. John’s University as a Clinical Supervisor and Lecturer with expertise in linguistics and English as a Foreign Language. She is also serving as a Trustee for the Board of the Farmingdale-Bethpage Historical Society. In addition, she is a Project Archivist via her company, InfoSpeak Consulting. Her research interests focus on the historical, multilingual and legal aspects of metadata creation and usage.

Abebe Rorissa, University at Albany

Dr. Abebe Rorissa is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Development in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity, University at Albany, SUNY.  Prior to his current position, he worked in Ethiopia, Lesotho, and Namibia as a lecturer and systems/automation librarian. He has also consulted for academic institutions, national governments, and international organizations on various topics including information and communication technologies as well as information organization. He has published extensively in leading international journals such as the Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology - JASIS&T, Information Processing & Management, and Government Information Quarterly. He was a member of the Board of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) and its Executive Committee.




How to Cite

Russo, D., & Rorissa, A. (2020). The need for addressing multilingualism, ambiguity and interoperability for visual resources management across metadata platforms. First Monday, 26(1).