Introduction to Description: Dublin Core and History

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Introduction to Description: Dublin Core and History

Dublin Core

  • Simple metadata for describing internet resources.
  • For “Document-Like Objects”
  • 15 Elements.

Principles of Dublin Core

  • Intrinsicality
  • Extensibility
  • Syntax Independence
  • Optionality
  • Repeatibility
  • Modifiability
  • From S. Weibel’s Metadata: The Foundations of Resource Description

Dublin Core Elements

  • Title
  • Creator
  • Subject
  • Description
  • Publisher
  • Other Contributors
  • Date
  • Resource Type
  • Format
  • Resource Identifier
  • Source
  • Language
  • Relation
  • Coverage
  • Rights Management

Assignment 1 Review

  • Create Dublin Core description for Rowley book.
  • We will review each of the DC elements and see what people chose and the description for this book.


  • Label: TITLE
  • The name given to the resource by the CREATOR or PUBLISHER.

Author or Creator

  • Label: CREATOR
  • The person(s) or organization(s) primarily responsible for the intellectual content of the resource. For example, authors in the case of written documents, artists, photographers, or illustrators in the case of visual resources.

Subject and Keywords

  • Label: SUBJECT
  • The topic of the resource, or keywords or phrases that describe the subject or content of the resource. The intent of the specification of this element is to promote the use of controlled vocabularies and keywords. This element might well include scheme-qualified classification data (for example, Library of Congress Classification Numbers or Dewey Decimal numbers) or scheme-qualified controlled vocabularies (such as MEdical Subject Headings or Art and Architecture Thesaurus descriptors) as well.


  • A textual description of the content of the resource, including abstracts in the case of document-like objects or content descriptions in the case of visual resources. Future metadata collections might well include computational content description (spectral analysis of a visual resource, for example) that may not be embeddable in current network systems. In such a case this field might contain a link to such a description rather than the description itself.


  • Label: PUBLISHER
  • The entity responsible for making the resource available in its present form, such as a publisher, a university department, or a corporate entity. The intent of specifying this field is to identify the entity that provides access to the resource.

Other Contributors

  • Person(s) or organization(s) in addition to those specified in the CREATOR element who have made significant intellectual contributions to the resource but whose contribution is secondary to the individuals or entities specified in the CREATOR element (for example, editors, transcribers, illustrators, and convenors).


  • Label: DATE
  • The date the resource was made available in its present form. The recommended best practice is an 8 digit number in the form YYYYMMDD as defined by ANSI X3.30-1985. In this scheme, the date element for the day this is written would be 19961203, or December 3, 1996. Many other schema are possible, but if used, they should be identified in an unambiguous manner.

Resource Type

  • Label: TYPE
  • The category of the resource, such as home page, novel, poem, working paper, preprint, technical report, essay, dictionary. It is expected that RESOURCE TYPE will be chosen from an enumerated list of types. A preliminary set of such types can be found at the following URL:


  • Label: FORMAT
  • The data representation of the resource, such as text/html, ASCII, Postscript file, executable application, or JPEG image. The intent of specifying this element is to provide information necessary to allow people or machines to make decisions about the usability of the encoded data (what hardware and software might be required to display or execute it, for example). As with RESOURCE TYPE, FORMAT will be assigned from enumerated lists such as registered Internet Media Types (MIME types). In principal, formats can include physical media such as books, serials, or other non-electronic media.

Resource Identifier

  • String or number used to uniquely identify the resource. Examples for networked resources include URLs and URNs (when implemented). Other globally-unique identifiers,such as International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) or other formal names would also be candidates for this element.


  • Label: SOURCE
  • The work, either print or electronic, from which this resource is derived, if applicable. For example, an html encoding of a Shakespearean sonnet might identify the paper version of the sonnet from which the electronic version was transcribed.


  • Label: LANGUAGE
  • Language(s) of the intellectual content of the resource. Where practical, the content of this field should coincide with the Z39.53 three character codes for written languages. See:


  • Label: RELATION
  • Relationship to other resources. The intent of specifying this element is to provide a means to express relationships among resources that have formal relationships to others, but exist as discrete resources themselves. For example, images in a document, chapters in a book, or items in a collection. A formal specification of RELATION is currently under development. Users and developers should understand that use of this element should be currently considered experimental.


  • Label: COVERAGE
  • The spatial locations and temporal duration characteristic of the resource. Formal specification of COVERAGE is currently under development. Users and developers should understand that use of this element should be currently considered experimental.

Rights Management

  • Label: RIGHTS
  • The content of this element is intended to be a link (a URL or other suitable URI as appropriate) to a copyright notice, a rights-management statement, or perhaps a server that would provide such information in a dynamic way. The intent of specifying this field is to allow providers a means to associate terms and conditions or copyright statements with a resource or collection of resources. No assumptions should be made by users if such a field is empty or not present.

Next Time

  • History of Cataloging Codes
  • Other Metadata systems
  • Bibliographic information
  • Bibliographic records

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