Investigation of Best Practice in Metadata for Sound and Moving Images (MPhil Scholarship)

Investigation of Best Practice in Metadata for Sound and Moving Images

Aberystwyth University, Information Studies

Project ID: AUM30005
Annual Stipend: £11,472
Application Deadline: Friday 17th August 2018

The purpose of this research project is to review and identify best practice in metadata systems for sound and moving images in order to secure future access to digital/digitised collections for diverse search interests. It would work alongside a major new project at the National Library of Wales (NLW) for which this research is vital, while also enabling the researcher to develop advanced understanding of a specialised field in the digital world.

Appropriate and consistent metadata is key to enabling effective access to digital content, whether ‘born digital’ or digitised from analogue material.  Sound and moving images present significant issues because the original technology is either already obsolete or likely to become obsolete in the near future, the content is hugely varied, and the interests/needs of searchers are almost limitless.  Some organisations have developed in-house metadata rules for their own purposes, but this will not satisfy the needs of public access via the internet.  Many organisations which possess/hold such material lack skills in this area, which are also scarce internationally at a time when the digital ‘mountain’ is increasing rapidly.  At the same time, this is a fast developing technical field alongside pressure to digitise obsolete formats and widen access to the content while also securing access to our heritage of sound and moving images for future generations – an important issue in fulfilling the requirements of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) 2015 Act.

NLW is an industry leader in digitisation methodologies, digital preservation and access.  As one of the UK’s Legal Deposit Libraries it now receives legal deposit material in digital formats and is home to Wales’ national Screen and Sound Archive.  It is currently embarking on a pioneering development to establish a National Broadcast Archive for Wales, as it already holds the ITV Wales archive and will soon take custody of the BBC Wales archive –which spans almost a century.  This is a joint project with BBC Wales, supported by the HLF, and includes extensive and valuable sound and moving image formats, together with the associated paper-based records.

NLW is also lead partner in Wales for the British Library-led and recently-launched Save our Sounds project across the UK (  Like several BFI initiatives to safeguard our film heritage through digital methods, Save our Sounds is supported by the HLF and the rationale emphasises that many sound recordings cannot survive more than a further five years because of obsolescent formats and technology and the urgent need for conservation and digitisation.

The prospective applicant should have a minimum of a 1st or good 2:1 in a relevant degree, and be available to take up the studentship by 1st October 2018. The project is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) through the European Union’s Convergence programme administered by the Welsh Government. KESS II MPhil scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners. (Applicants need to only apply, they do not need to search for partners.)


To apply, please submit the following to the Postgraduate Admissions Office (address below) by Friday 17th August 2018

  1. A completed Research Programme Application Form, two references. Application and reference forms may be downloaded from
  2. A completed KESS II Participant proposal form (put the reference number AUM30005 in the top right hand box of the application form) and an up-to-date CV. KESS II application forms are available to download at the link below.

  1. An MPhil proposal of up to 1,000 words where you expand on your experience and interests and describe why you are a good candidate for this research studentship. Please refer to the Project Description.


Value of Award: A stipend of £11,472 (rising in accordance with inflation for the remaining two years). Each scholarship has an additional budget for travel, equipment/consumables and training to support your research. KESS II Masters Scholarship holders do not pay fees.

Length: Full-time for 1 year. (Theses must be submitted 3 months after the funded one-year study period.)

Training: The achievement of a Postgraduate Skills Development Award (PSDA) is compulsory for each KESS II scholar (The PSDA is based on a 60 credit award, which is an additional award to the PhD).

Eligibility: To be eligible to apply for a KESS II award, you must be resident, upon starting the scholarship, in the Convergence Area of Wales and you must be able to take paid employment in the Convergence area on completion of the scholarship.

The Convergence Area means the following counties of Wales:

Isle of Anglesey
Neath Port Talbot
Rhondda Cynon Taff

For further student eligibility criteria related to the individual projects, please view the details of the individual project above.

Informal enquiries should be made to Dr Pauline Rafferty at  or 01970 622926 or Dr Anoush Simon at or 01970 622145

Address for applications:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Recruitment & Admissions
Student Welcome Centre
Aberystwyth University
SY23 3FB

Quote Reference AUM30005

Closing date for applications Friday 17th August 2018