Why can’t I manage academic papers like MP3s? The evolution and intent of Metadata standards "Two key differences are identified: Firstly, digital music metadata is standardized and moves with the content file, while academic metadata is not and does not. Secondly digital music metadata lookup services are collaborative and automate the movement from a digital file to the appropriate metadata, while academic metadata services do not."
"Academic metadata is obtained in a variety of ways, yet even the most sophisticated methods stop short of the level of automation and convenience reached by digital music. For those not using citation management software the process is a manual one of re-entering citations in the required format. This is often done through “reference list raiding”, is subject to copying errors and is extremely tedious."
"Thankfully systems like the CDDB or the one proposed above have the characteristic that only one upload is required to make the metadata available to all. It is established that online availability increases citations to one’s work so it does not seem a stretch that easy availability of accurate metadata would also increase citations...We propose that two tasks are required to move towards more effective practices: using XMP to store academic metadata with the file and using content-based hashing to map between the digital files and a user contributed metadata database."
There's also the recent Wanted: Cheap Metadata: "What about new incentives for adding judgment-call metadata? Stephen Cayzer's work at HP Labs (see his XML Europe paper), which demonstrates how better user interfaces can make the entry of metadata less trouble for the user, will hopefully inspire others to think more about acquiring good metadata and postpone some of their ideas about what to do with that metadata."