My coursemate recently made a post in his blog about wishing for perfection metadata.
During my time as a music student we learned that one of the worst things that you can do is over think while you’re performing. We called this paralysis by analysis. But musicians actually do spend vast amounts of time on analysis, but the important thing is that this period of decision-making happens ideally before the performance.
In the same way, describing resources could be approached the same way. The metadata guidelines should be carefully set, but realistically during the actual cataloging there is only so much that time that can be realistically devoted to those fields which require the most care, such as description. If you had 56,000 digital images, like my last job, and it takes your metadata specialist half an hour to write the description field you’ve spent 700 work weeks of time on the project and hundreds of thousands of dollars just to fill the subject field of these entities.