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Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, Version 1.1: Reference Description

Date Issued: 2003-06-02
Identifier: http://dublincore.org/documents/2003/06/02/dces/
Supersedes: http://dublincore.org/documents/2003/02/04/dces/
Is superseded by: http://dublincore.org/documents/2004/12/20/dces/
Latest version: http://dublincore.org/documents/dces/
Translations: http://dublincore.org/resources/translations/
Status of document: This is a DCMI Recommendation.
Description of document: This document is the reference description, version 1.1 of the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set.

Introduction

The Dublin Core metadata element set is a standard for cross-domain information resource description. Here an information resource is defined to be "anything that has identity". This is the definition used in Internet RFC 2396, "Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax", by Tim Berners-Lee et al. There are no fundamental restrictions to the types of resources to which Dublin Core metadata can be assigned.

Three formally endorsed versions exist of the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, version 1.1:

The current document has been brought into line with the ISO and NISO standards. The more comprehensive document "DCMI Metadata Terms" (http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/) includes the latest and authoritative term declarations for the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, Version 1.1.

For an overview and links to full specifications of all metadata terms maintained by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative please see:: http://dublincore.org/usage/documents/overview/.

The Elements

Element Name: Title
Label: Title
Definition: A name given to the resource.
Comment: Typically, Title will be a name by which the resource is formally known.
Element Name: Creator
Label: Creator
Definition: An entity primarily responsible for making the content of the resource.
Comment: Examples of Creator include a person, an organization, or a service. Typically, the name of a Creator should be used to indicate the entity.
Element Name: Subject
Label: Subject and Keywords
Definition: A topic of the content of the resource.
Comment: Typically, Subject will be expressed as keywords, key phrases or classification codes that describe a topic of the resource. Recommended best practice is to select a value from a controlled vocabulary or formal classification scheme.
Element Name: Description
Label: Description
Definition: An account of the content of the resource.
Comment: Examples of Description include, but is not limited to: an abstract, table of contents, reference to a graphical representation of content or a free-text account of the content.
Element Name: Publisher
Label: Publisher
Definition: An entity responsible for making the resource available
Comment: Examples of Publisher include a person, an organization, or a service. Typically, the name of a Publisher should be used to indicate the entity.
Element Name: Contributor
Label: Contributor
Definition: An entity responsible for making contributions to the content of the resource.
Comment: Examples of Contributor include a person, an organization, or a service. Typically, the name of a Contributor should be used to indicate the entity.
Element Name: Date
Label: Date
Definition: A date of an event in the lifecycle of the resource.
Comment: Typically, Date will be associated with the creation or availability of the resource. Recommended best practice for encoding the date value is defined in a profile of ISO 8601 [W3CDTF] and includes (among others) dates of the form YYYY-MM-DD.
Element Name: Type
Label: Resource Type
Definition: The nature or genre of the content of the resource.
Comment: Type includes terms describing general categories, functions, genres, or aggregation levels for content. Recommended best practice is to select a value from a controlled vocabulary (for example, the DCMI Type Vocabulary [DCT1]). To describe the physical or digital manifestation of the resource, use the FORMAT element.
Element Name: Format
Label: Format
Definition: The physical or digital manifestation of the resource.
Comment: Typically, Format may include the media-type or dimensions of the resource. Format may be used to identify the software, hardware, or other equipment needed to display or operate the resource. Examples of dimensions include size and duration. Recommended best practice is to select a value from a controlled vocabulary (for example, the list of Internet Media Types [MIME] defining computer media formats).
Element Name: Identifier
Label: Resource Identifier
Definition: An unambiguous reference to the resource within a given context.
Comment: Recommended best practice is to identify the resource by means of a string or number conforming to a formal identification system. Formal identification systems include but are not limited to the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) (including the Uniform Resource Locator (URL)), the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and the International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
Element Name: Source
Label: Source
Definition: A Reference to a resource from which the present resource is derived.
Comment: The present resource may be derived from the Source resource in whole or in part. Recommended best practice is to identify the referenced resource by means of a string or number conforming to a formal identification system.
Element Name: Language
Label: Language
Definition: A language of the intellectual content of the resource.
Comment: Recommended best practice is to use RFC 3066 [RFC3066] which, in conjunction with ISO639 [ISO639]), defines two- and three-letter primary language tags with optional subtags. Examples include "en" or "eng" for English, "akk" for Akkadian", and "en-GB" for English used in the United Kingdom.
Element Name: Relation
Label: Relation
Definition: A reference to a related resource.
Comment: Recommended best practice is to identify the referenced resource by means of a string or number conforming to a formal identification system.
Element Name: Coverage
Label: Coverage
Definition: The extent or scope of the content of the resource.
Comment: Typically, Coverage will include spatial location (a place name or geographic coordinates), temporal period (a period label, date, or date range) or jurisdiction (such as a named administrative entity). Recommended best practice is to select a value from a controlled vocabulary (for example, the Thesaurus of Geographic Names [TGN]) and to use, where appropriate, named places or time periods in preference to numeric identifiers such as sets of coordinates or date ranges.
Element Name: Rights
Label: Rights Management
Definition: Information about rights held in and over the resource.
Comment: Typically, Rights will contain a rights management statement for the resource, or reference a service providing such information. Rights information often encompasses Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Copyright, and various Property Rights. If the Rights element is absent, no assumptions may be made about any rights held in or over the resource.

References

[DCT1]
DCMI Type Vocabulary. DCMI Recommendation, 11 July 2000.
http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-type-vocabulary/

[ISO639]
ISO 639-2 - Codes for the representation of names of languages. Alpha-3 code (ISO 639-2:1998)
http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/langhome.html

[ISO3166]
ISO 3166 - Codes for the representation of names of countries.
http://www.din.de/gremien/nas/nabd/iso3166ma/

[MIME]
Internet Media Types.
http://www.isi.edu/in-notes/iana/assignments/media-types/media-types

[RFC3066]
Tags for the Identification of Languages, Internet RFC 3066.
http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3066.txt

[RFC2396]
Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax, Internet RFC 2396.
http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2396.txt

[RFC2413]
Dublin Core Metadata for Resource Discovery. Internet RFC 2413.
http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2413.txt

[TGN]
Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names.
http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/tgn/index.html

[W3CDTF]
Date and Time Formats, W3C Note.
http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-datetime

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