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Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, Version 1.1

Identifier: http://dublincore.org/documents/2012/06/14/dces/
Replaces: http://dublincore.org/documents/2010/10/11/dces/
Latest version: http://dublincore.org/documents/dces/
Date Issued: 2012-06-14
Status of document: This is a DCMI Recommendation.
Description of document: This document provides ready reference for the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, Version 1.1. For more detailed documentation and links to historical versioning information, see the document "DCMI Metadata Terms".

Introduction

The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set is a vocabulary of fifteen properties for use in resource description. The name "Dublin" is due to its origin at a 1995 invitational workshop in Dublin, Ohio; "core" because its elements are broad and generic, usable for describing a wide range of resources.

The fifteen element "Dublin Core" described in this standard is part of a larger set of metadata vocabularies and technical specifications maintained by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI). The full set of vocabularies, DCMI Metadata Terms [DCMI-TERMS], also includes sets of resource classes (including the DCMI Type Vocabulary [DCMI-TYPE]), vocabulary encoding schemes, and syntax encoding schemes. The terms in DCMI vocabularies are intended to be used in combination with terms from other, compatible vocabularies in the context of application profiles and on the basis of the DCMI Abstract Model [DCAM].

All changes made to terms of the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set since 2001 have been reviewed by a DCMI Usage Board in the context of a DCMI Namespace Policy [DCMI-NAMESPACE]. The namespace policy describes how DCMI terms are assigned Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) and sets limits on the range of editorial changes that may allowably be made to the labels, definitions, and usage comments associated with existing DCMI terms.

This document, an excerpt from the more comprehensive document "DCMI Metadata Terms" [DCTERMS] provides an abbreviated reference version of the fifteen element descriptions that have been formally endorsed in the following standards:

Since 1998, when these fifteen elements entered into a standardization track, notions of best practice in the Semantic Web have evolved to include the assignment of formal domains and ranges in addition to definitions in natural language. Domains and ranges specify what kind of described resources and value resources are associated with a given property. Domains and ranges express the meanings implicit in natural-language definitions in an explicit form that is usable for the automatic processing of logical inferences. When a given property is encountered, an inferencing application may use information about the domains and ranges assigned to a property in order to make inferences about the resources described thereby.

Since January 2008, therefore, DCMI includes formal domains and ranges in the definitions of its properties. So as not to affect the conformance of existing implementations of "simple Dublin Core" in RDF, domains and ranges have not been specified for the fifteen properties of the dc: namespace (http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/). Rather, fifteen new properties with "names" identical to those of the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set Version 1.1 have been created in the dcterms: namespace (http://purl.org/dc/terms/). These fifteen new properties have been defined as subproperties of the corresponding properties of DCMES Version 1.1 and assigned domains and ranges as specified in the more comprehensive document "DCMI Metadata Terms" [DCTERMS].

Implementers may freely choose to use these fifteen properties either in their legacy dc: variant (e.g., http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/creator) or in the dcterms: variant (e.g., http://purl.org/dc/terms/creator) depending on application requirements. The RDF schemas of the DCMI namespaces describe the subproperty relation of dcterms:creator to dc:creator for use by Semantic Web-aware applications. Over time, however, implementers are encouraged to use the semantically more precise dcterms: properties, as they more fully follow emerging notions of best practice for machine-processable metadata.

References

[RFC5013] http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc5013.txt
[NISOZ3985] http://www.niso.org/apps/group_public/download.php/10256/Z39-85-2012_dublin_core.pdf
[ISO15836] http://www.iso.org/iso/search.htm?qt=15836&searchSubmit=Search&sort=rel&type=simple&published=on
[TRANSLATIONS] http://dublincore.org/resources/translations/
[DCTERMS] http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/

The Elements

Term Name: contributor
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/contributor
Label: Contributor
Definition: An entity responsible for making contributions to the resource.
Comment: Examples of a Contributor include a person, an organization, or a service. Typically, the name of a Contributor should be used to indicate the entity.
Term Name: coverage
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/coverage
Label: Coverage
Definition: The spatial or temporal topic of the resource, the spatial applicability of the resource, or the jurisdiction under which the resource is relevant.
Comment: Spatial topic and spatial applicability may be a named place or a location specified by its geographic coordinates. Temporal topic may be a named period, date, or date range. A jurisdiction may be a named administrative entity or a geographic place to which the resource applies. Recommended best practice is to use a controlled vocabulary such as the Thesaurus of Geographic Names [TGN]. Where appropriate, named places or time periods can be used in preference to numeric identifiers such as sets of coordinates or date ranges.
References: [TGN] http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/tgn/index.html
Term Name: creator
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/creator
Label: Creator
Definition: An entity primarily responsible for making the resource.
Comment: Examples of a Creator include a person, an organization, or a service. Typically, the name of a Creator should be used to indicate the entity.
Term Name: date
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/date
Label: Date
Definition: A point or period of time associated with an event in the lifecycle of the resource.
Comment: Date may be used to express temporal information at any level of granularity. Recommended best practice is to use an encoding scheme, such as the W3CDTF profile of ISO 8601 [W3CDTF].
References: [W3CDTF] http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-datetime
Term Name: description
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/description
Label: Description
Definition: An account of the resource.
Comment: Description may include but is not limited to: an abstract, a table of contents, a graphical representation, or a free-text account of the resource.
Term Name: format
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/format
Label: Format
Definition: The file format, physical medium, or dimensions of the resource.
Comment: Examples of dimensions include size and duration. Recommended best practice is to use a controlled vocabulary such as the list of Internet Media Types [MIME].
References: [MIME] http://www.iana.org/assignments/media-types/
Term Name: identifier
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/identifier
Label: 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 conforming to a formal identification system.
Term Name: language
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/language
Label: Language
Definition: A language of the resource.
Comment: Recommended best practice is to use a controlled vocabulary such as RFC 4646 [RFC4646].
References: [RFC4646] http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc4646.txt
Term Name: publisher
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/publisher
Label: Publisher
Definition: An entity responsible for making the resource available.
Comment: Examples of a Publisher include a person, an organization, or a service. Typically, the name of a Publisher should be used to indicate the entity.
Term Name: relation
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/relation
Label: Relation
Definition: A related resource.
Comment: Recommended best practice is to identify the related resource by means of a string conforming to a formal identification system.
Term Name: rights
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/rights
Label: Rights
Definition: Information about rights held in and over the resource.
Comment: Typically, rights information includes a statement about various property rights associated with the resource, including intellectual property rights.
Term Name: source
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/source
Label: Source
Definition: A related resource from which the described resource is derived.
Comment: The described resource may be derived from the related resource in whole or in part. Recommended best practice is to identify the related resource by means of a string conforming to a formal identification system.
Term Name: subject
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/subject
Label: Subject
Definition: The topic of the resource.
Comment: Typically, the subject will be represented using keywords, key phrases, or classification codes. Recommended best practice is to use a controlled vocabulary.
Term Name: title
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/title
Label: Title
Definition: A name given to the resource.
Comment: Typically, a Title will be a name by which the resource is formally known.
Term Name: type
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/type
Label: Type
Definition: The nature or genre of the resource.
Comment: Recommended best practice is to use a controlled vocabulary such as the DCMI Type Vocabulary [DCMITYPE]. To describe the file format, physical medium, or dimensions of the resource, use the Format element.
References: [DCMITYPE] http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-type-vocabulary/
Errata:

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