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Dublin Core

The Dublin Core is a set of standards for the use of the Resource Description Format (RDF) dialect of XML, to describe library metadata or any Web page.

It was so named because the first reunion of metadata and Web specialists which saw its birth was held in the town of Dublin, Ohio in the United States.

Table of contents
1 The elements
2 References
3 See also

The elements

The first standard published is the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set. It consists of 15 metadata elements which may or may not be present and each element may as well be repeated.

  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.

A 16th element, "audience" has been added to the 15 original.

Unlike many other document metadata standards, there is no prescribed order in Dublin Core for presenting or using the elements. In the list above the "Title" element was put first and the "Rights" element last, but it could just as correctly have been the reverse, or all the elements could have been presented or used in alphabetical order.

There are two ways of using the elements: With or without extensions. Using them without extensions means using "DC simple". Using them with extensions means using "DC qualified". The extensions are called refinements or qualifiers.

For instance, "created", "valid", "issued" and "modified" are the recommended refinements of the "date" element. Thus, would be the name for the element for the date of creation of a document in DC qualified.

Several elements have schemes or a ready made controlled vocabulary. For instance, the "Type" element has 12 recommended terms: Collection, dataset, event, image, interactive resource, service, software, sound, text, physical object, still image, moving image.

One Document Type Definition (DTD) based on Dublin Core is the Open Source Metadata Framework (OMF) specification. OMF is in turn used by ScrollKeeper, which is used by the GNOME desktop and KDE help browsers and the ScrollServer documentation server.


See also