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Purpose and background
This document defines the procedures which are employed in developing Dublin Core specifications and in carrying out other tasks to advance the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. These tasks are carried out by Dublin Core Working Groups. In particular, this document sets out guidelines for:
An initial draft of this document was developed in November 1998 by the Dublin Core Process Working Group. The Group was formed at a joint meeting of the Dublin Core Policy Advisory Committee and Technical Advisory Committee, held in Washington DC on 1 November 1998. Between April and June 1999, the document was discussed and amended by the DC Coordination Committee Working Group.
Initiation of a new Dublin Core work item
A proposal for a new Dublin Core work item may originate from:
In the first case, a work item proposal will be developed and documented by the Directorate. In the last two cases, a work item proposal will be developed, documented and submitted by a proposer to the Directorate. In all three cases, the Directorate will consult with the Advisory Committee. The proposer must be willing to participate in any Working Group dealing with the work item.
The Directorate may either:
This decision should be documented and communicated to the proposer. In the case of the third and fourth courses of action, reasons should be given. The Directorate will not make a decision which is contrary to the clear advice of the Advisory Committee.
Dublin Core Working Groups are constituted to address work items raised in the course of Dublin Core activities. Membership of Dublin Core Working Groups is open to all interested parties. A Working Group becomes dormant at the completion of its charter and should not address additional work items without charter revisions approved by the Dublin Core Directorate.
Chairs and Co-Chairs (if any) of Working Groups are appointed by the Dublin Core Directorate. The Managing Director has the task of following up and coordinating Working Group chairs.
Because the Dublin Core Workshops provide an opportunity to review work items and to introduce new people, all working groups will automatically expire at each Dublin Core Workshop, although they may be re-constituted if necessary.
Working Group activities are conducted through a combination of face-to-face meetings, teleconferencing, and an archived mailing list. Minutes from face-to-face meetings and teleconference calls will be maintained by the chair or the chair’s designee.
Responsibilities of Working Group chairs
Working Group chairs will:
Responsibilities of Working Group members
Working Group members will:
It is recognised that some individuals will join Working Groups in order to follow, rather than participate in, the discussions. This is acceptable, although Working Group members are encouraged to share their expertise with the community through active participation.
Conduct of Working Groups
Within each working group, the discussion will be focussed on discrete “open issues”. Discussion of open issues will be managed by the chair via email, teleconference, and/or face-to-face meetings. Such discussions will lead to decisions or actions.
“Actions” are tasks deemed necessary to the conversion of open issues to decisions. Actions must be assigned to specific individuals or groups of individuals, and should include a deadline as well. Examples of actions include preparing a document or document component, articulating a technical solution to a problem, and eliciting information from an individual or group external to the working group.
“Decisions” are made in teleconference or face-to-face meetings by a simple majority of those present. Decisions made via e-mail discussions will reflect rough consensus as judged by the chair. Failure to respond in e-mail discussions of open issues or proposed decisions on the working group mailing list may be construed by the chair as evidence of agreement. Reversals of decisions made previously by the Working Group require a 2/3 majority (in the case of teleconference or face-to-face meetings) or a very clear consensus as judged by the chair (in the case of e-mail discussions).
In the conduct of e-mail discussions, the Chair will ensure that:
In the conduct of teleconference or face-to-face discussions, the Chair will ensure that:
Working Group documents
All working group documents are publicly accessible via the Dublin Core Web site. The Web site will include:
Working Group reports
The three key status identifiers for Working Group reports are ‘Working Draft’, ‘Draft Proposal’ and ‘Dublin Core Specification’.
During its development within the Working Group, a report may go through a number of Working Draft versions. The Working Draft may be developed by the Chair, or by one or more members of the Working Group with the oversight of the Chair. These versions may be notified to members of the Working Group only, or may be given wider notification at the discretion of the Chair.
Once the Chair is satisfied that a report meets the requirements of the Working Group charter and reflects the consensus of the Group, he or she will issue it as a Draft Proposal from the Working Group. The Chair will submit the Draft Proposal to the dc-general list for initial comment, accompanied by a submission note identifying probable areas of public controversy that might bear on broad acceptance. The Draft Proposal should also contain a proposed deadline for these comments. A short response time (no more than two weeks) is recommended. Substantive public comments should be either accommodated in a revised Draft Proposal, or their rejection should be justified in a document accessible via the Working Group Web pages.
Following consideration of these comments, the Chair may refer the Draft Proposal back to the Working Group for further consideration and development of a revised Draft Proposal. This process may iterate.
Once the Chair is satisfied that there is broad community consensus, he or she will submit the Draft Proposal to the Advisory Committee for review. The Advisory Committee may either refer the Draft Proposal back to the Working Group Chair with comments, or forward the Draft Proposal to the Directorate for final approval.
The work item may be abandoned following comment at the Draft Proposal stage, if these comments reveal major flaws or seriously unsatisfactory features. In this event, reasons for the decision should be issued by the Working Group Chair.
The highest status which can be assigned to a Working Group report is a ‘Dublin Core Specification’. The decision on whether to assign this status will be made by the Directorate, after considering the advice of the Advisory Committee. The date of this decision must be recorded, and the decision must be announced to the Dublin Core (dc-general) discussion list. A Dublin Core specification is assigned a date of issue and a version number, and is made available from the Dublin Core Web site.
The Working Group will continue to exist until the Dublin Core Workshop following this decision. The Working Group chair, or the chair’s delegate, must present a report at that workshop.
Dublin Core Notes
A Note is a document which is made available by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative for discussion only. The publication of a Note implies no endorsement of any kind.
A draft Note is submitted to the Directorate from any member of the Dublin Core community. The Directorate will acknowledge receipt of the Note and will forward it, if appropriate, to the Advisory Committee or to the relevant Working Group. The Advisory Committee or Working Group will discuss the document and will recommend whether it should be endorsed and published as a Note, and whether it should become an action item for a Working Group.
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