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Dublin Core

The Dublin Core Schema is a small set of vocabulary terms that can be used to describe digital resources (video, images, web pages,
etc.), as well as physical resources such as books or CDs, and objects like artworks.[1] The full set of Dublin Core metadata terms can be
found on the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) website.[2] The original set of 15 classic[3] metadata terms, known as the Dublin
Core Metadata Element Set (DCMES),[4] is endorsed in the following standards documents:

IETF RFC 5013[5]

ISO Standard 15836-1:2017[6]
NISO Standard Z39.85[7]
Dublin Core metadata may be used for multiple purposes, from simple resource description to combining metadata vocabularies of
different metadata standards, to providing interoperability for metadata vocabularies in the linked data cloud and Semantic Web

Levels of the standard
Dublin Core Metadata Element Set
Encoding examples
Example of use [and mention] by WebCite
Qualified Dublin Core
DCMI Metadata Terms
Notable applications
See also
Related software
Further reading
External links

"Dublin" refers to Dublin, Ohio, USA where the schema originated during the 1995 invitational OCLC/NCSA Metadata Workshop,[8]
hosted by the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), a library consortium based in Dublin, and the National Center for
Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). "Core" refers to the metadata terms as "broad and generic being usable for describing a wide
range of resources".[4] The semantics of Dublin Core were established and are maintained by an international, cross-disciplinary group
of professionals from librarianship, computer science, text encoding, museums, and other related fields of scholarship and practice.

Starting in 2000, the Dublin Core community focused on "application profiles" – the idea that metadata records would use Dublin Core
together with other specialized vocabularies to meet particular implementation requirements. During that time, the World Wide Web
Consortium's work on a generic data model for metadata, the Resource Description Framework (RDF), was maturing. As part of an
extended set of DCMI metadata terms, Dublin Core became one of the most popular vocabularies for use with RDF, more recently in
the context of the linked data movement.[9]

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI)[10] provides an open forum for the development of interoperable online metadata
standards for a broad range of purposes and of business models. DCMI's activities include consensus-driven working groups, global
conferences and workshops, standards liaison, and educational efforts to promote widespread acceptance of metadata standards and
practices. In 2008, DCMI separated from OCLC and incorporated as an independent entity.[11]

Currently, any and all changes that are made to the Dublin Core standard, are reviewed by a DCMI Usage Board within the context of a
DCMI Namespace Policy (DCMI-NAMESPACE). This policy describes how terms are assigned and also sets limits on the amount of
editorial changes allowed to the labels, definitions, and usage comments.[12]

Levels of the standard

The Dublin Core standard originally included two levels: Simple and Qualified. Simple Dublin Core comprised 15 elements;
Qualified Dublin Core included three additional elements (Audience, Provenance and RightsHolder), as well as a group of element
refinements (also called qualifiers) that could refine the semantics of the elements in ways that may be useful in resource discovery.

Since 2012, the two have been incorporated into the DCMI Metadata Terms as a single set of terms using the RDF data model.[13]
The full set of elements is found under the namespace http://purl.org/dc/terms/. Because the definition of the terms often contains
domains and ranges, which may not be compatible with the pre-RDF definitions used for the original 15 Dublin Core elements, there is
a separate namespace for the original 15 elements as previously defined: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/.[14]

Dublin Core Metadata Element Set

The original DCMES Version 1.1 consists of 15 metadata elements:[4]

1. Title
2. Creator
3. Subject
4. Description
5. Publisher
6. Contributor
7. Date
8. Type
9. Format
10. Identifier
11. Source
12. Language
13. Relation
14. Coverage
15. Rights
Each Dublin Core element is optional and may be repeated. The DCMI has established standard ways to refine elements and encourage
the use of encoding and vocabulary schemes. There is no prescribed order in Dublin Core for presenting or using the elements. The
Dublin Core became a NISO standards, Z39.85, and IETF RFC 5013 in 2007. ISO 15836 standard in 2009 and is used as a base-level
data element set for the description of learning resources in the ISO/IEC 19788-2 Metadata for learning resources (MLR) – Part 2:
Dublin Core elements, prepared by the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC36.

Full information on element definitions and term relationships can be found in the Dublin Core Metadata Registry.[15]

Encoding examples

<meta name="DC.Format" content="video/mpeg; 10 minutes" />

<meta name="DC.Language" content="en" />
<meta name="DC.Publisher" content="publisher-name" />
<meta name="DC.Title" content="HYP" />

Example of use [and mention] by WebCite

On the "archive form" web page for WebCite it says,[16] in part: "Metadata (optional): These are Dublin Core elements. [...]".

Qualified Dublin Core

(Superseded in 2008 by the DCMI Metadata Terms.[17]) Subsequent to the specification of the original 15 elements, an ongoing process
to develop exemplary terms extending or refining the DCMES was begun. The additional terms were identified, generally in working
groups of the DCMI, and judged by the DCMI Usage Board to be in conformance with principles of good practice for the qualification of
Dublin Core metadata elements.

Element refinements make the meaning of an element narrower or more specific. A refined element shares the meaning of the
unqualified element, but with a more restricted scope. The guiding principle for the qualification of Dublin Core elements, colloquially
known as the Dumb-Down Principle,[18] states that an application that does not understand a specific element refinement term should
be able to ignore the qualifier and treat the metadata value as if it were an unqualified (broader) element. While this may result in some
loss of specificity, the remaining element value (without the qualifier) should continue to be generally correct and useful for discovery.

In addition to element refinements, Qualified Dublin Core includes a set of recommended encoding schemes, designed to aid in the
interpretation of an element value. These schemes include controlled vocabularies and formal notations or parsing rules. A value
expressed using an encoding scheme may thus be a token selected from a controlled vocabulary (for example, a term from a
classification system or set of subject headings) or a string formatted in accordance with a formal notation, for example, "2000-12-31"
as the ISO standard expression of a date. If an encoding scheme is not understood by an application, the value may still be useful to a
human reader.

Audience, Provenance and RightsHolder are elements, but not part of the Simple Dublin Core 15 elements. Use Audience,
Provenance and RightsHolder only when using Qualified Dublin Core. DCMI also maintains a small, general vocabulary recommended
for use within the element Type. This vocabulary currently consists of 12 terms.[15]

DCMI Metadata Terms

The DCMI Metadata Terms lists the current set of the Dublin Core vocabulary.[13] This set includes the fifteen terms of the DCMES (in
italic), as well as the qualified terms. Each term has a unique URI in the namespace http://purl.org/dc/terms, and all are defined as
RDF properties.

abstract isPartOf
accessRights isReferencedBy
accrualMethod isReplacedBy
accrualPeriodicity isRequiredBy
accrualPolicy issued
alternative isVersionOf
audience language
available license
bibliographicCitation mediator
conformsTo medium
contributor modified
coverage provenance
created publisher
creator references
date relation
dateAccepted replaces
dateCopyrighted requires
dateSubmitted rights
description rightsHolder
educationLevel source
extent spatial
format subject
hasFormat tableOfContents
hasPart temporal
hasVersion title
identifier type
instructionalMethod valid

Syntax choices for Dublin Core metadata depends on a number of variables, and "one size fits all" prescriptions rarely apply. When
considering an appropriate syntax, it is important to note that Dublin Core concepts and semantics are designed to be syntax
independent and are equally applicable in a variety of contexts, as long as the metadata is in a form suitable for interpretation both by
machines and by human beings.

The Dublin Core Abstract Model[19] provides a reference model against which particular Dublin Core encoding guidelines can be
compared, independent of any particular encoding syntax. Such a reference model allows implementers to gain a better understanding
of the kinds of descriptions they are trying to encode and facilitates the development of better mappings and translations between
different syntax.

Notable applications
One Document Type Definition based on Dublin Core is the Open Source Metadata Framework (OMF) specification.[20] OMF is in turn
used by Rarian (superseding ScrollKeeper), which is used by the GNOME desktop and KDE help browsers and the ScrollServer
documentation server. PBCore is also based on Dublin Core.[21] The Zope CMF's Metadata products, used by the Plone, ERP5, the
Nuxeo CPS Content management systems, SimpleDL, and Fedora Commons also implement Dublin Core. The EPUB e-book format
uses Dublin Core metadata in the OPF file.[22]

See also
Metadata registry
Metadata Object Description Schema
Ontology (information science)
Open Archives Initiative (OAI)
Controlled vocabulary
Asset Description Metadata Schema (ADMS (https://www.w3.org/TR/vocab-adms/)), a metadata standard maintained by the W3C
for describing semantic standards. Implemented on Joinup.[23]
Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS), maintained by the Library of Congress for the Digital Library Federation
Preservation Metadata: Implementation Strategies (PREMIS)

Related software
Fedora, a digital asset management (DAM) architecture capable of implementing OAI-PMH (thus, also Dublin Core).
Omeka, a free and open source content management system using an unqualified Dublin Core metadata standard.

1. "DCMI Type Vocabulary" (http://www.dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-type-vocabulary/). dublincore.org. Retrieved 11 November
2. "DCMI Metadata Terms" (http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/). dublincore.org. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
3. "DCMI Specifications" (http://dublincore.org/specifications/). dublincore.org. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
4. "Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, Version 1.1" (http://dublincore.org/documents/dces/). dublincore.org. Retrieved 11 November
5. The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc5013.txt), Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, August 2007
6. "ISO 15836-1:2017 - Information and documentation - The Dublin Core metadata element set - Part 1: Core elements"
(http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_ics/catalogue_detail_ics.htm?csnumber=71339). Iso.org. May 2017. Retrieved
2 October 2018.
7. "NISO Standards - National Information Standards Organization" (https://web.archive.org/web/20111116005843/http:
//www.niso.org/kst/reports/standards?step=2&gid=None&project_key=9b7bffcd2daeca6198b4ee5a848f9beec2f600e5). Niso.org.
22 May 2007. Archived from the original (http://www.niso.org/kst/reports/standards?step=2&gid=None&
project_key=9b7bffcd2daeca6198b4ee5a848f9beec2f600e5) on 16 November 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
8. "DCMI: The OCLC/NCSA Metadata Workshop: The Essential Elements of Network Object Description" (http://www.dublincore.org
www.dublincore.org. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
9. "DCMI Metadata Basics". dublincore.org/metadata-basics/. Missing or empty |url= (help)
10. "DCMI Home: Dublin Core® Metadata Initiative (DCMI)" (http://dublincore.org/). Dublincore.org. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
11. "OCLC Research and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative" (http://www.oclc.org/research/activities/past/orprojects/dublincore
/default.htm). Retrieved 21 April 2010.
12. "Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, Version 1.1" (http://dublincore.org/documents/dces/). Dublincore.org. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
13. "DCMI Metadata Terms" (http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/). Dublincore.org. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
14. "DCMI: Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, Version 1.1: Reference Description" (http://dublincore.org/documents/dces/).
dublincore.org. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
15. Dublin Core Metadata Registry (http://dcmi.kc.tsukuba.ac.jp/dcregistry/)
16. "WebCite archive form" (http://webcitation.org/archive). WebCite. "These are Dublin Core elements. Entering these will help you to
correctly cite the URL. [...]"
17. "Dublin Core Qualifiers" (http://dublincore.org/documents/2000/07/11/dcmes-qualifiers/). Dublincore.org. Retrieved 2017-05-27.
18. "DCMI: DCMI Grammatical Principles" (http://www.dublincore.org/usage/documents/principles/). www.dublincore.org. Retrieved
3 April 2018.
19. "DCMI: DCMI Abstract Model" (http://dublincore.org/documents/abstract-model/). dublincore.org. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
20. "m e t a l a b open source metadata framework" (http://www.ibiblio.org/osrt/omf/). www.ibiblio.org. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
21. "PBCore Schema – PBCore" (http://pbcore.org/schema/). pbcore.org. Retrieved 2018-01-19. "PBCore is built on the foundation of
the Dublin Core (ISO 15836), an international standard for resource discovery."
22. "Open Packaging Format (OPF) § Publication Metadata" (http://www.idpf.org/epub/20/spec/OPF_2.0_latest.htm#Section2.2).
International Digital Publishing Forum. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
23. "ADMS-AP for Joinup version 2.0" (https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/release/adms-ap-joinup-version/20). Joinup. December 2015.

Further reading
Harvey, Ross; Hider, Philip (2004). Organising Knowledge in a Global Society. Wagga Wagga NSW: Charles Sturt University.
ISBN 1-876938-66-8.
Dublin Core presentation (https://web.archive.org/web/20110426155937/https://www.inf.unibz.it/courses/images/stories
/2005_2006/Digital_Libraries/dini-less-5-6.ppt), by Luca Dini, lecturer at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

External links
Official website (http://dublincore.org/)
Dublin Core usage guide (https://github.com/dcmi/repository/blob/master/mediawiki_wiki/User_Guide.md) on GitHub
Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Publishes DCMI Abstract Model (http://xml.coverpages.org/ni2005-03-21-a.html) (Cover Pages,
March 2005)
Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) (https://www.loc.gov/standards/mods/v3/mods-userguide-3-0.html)

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