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Dublin Core Metadata Initiative - Status Report March 2008

Makx Dekkers/2008-03-31

Organization and management

Changes in work structure

After DC-2007 in Singapore, three new DCMI Communities were established:

Three groups were deactivated:

DCMI Board of Trustees

The DCMI Board of Trustees met on 27 August 2007 in Singapore. The Board held further conference calls in November 2007 and January 2008. Main issues on the agenda of the Board are the legal incorporation of DCMI as a Company limited by Guarantee in Singapore and the financial sustainability of DCMI on the short and longer term.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will take place on 9 and 10 May 2008 in Washington, DC.

DCMI Usage Board

The DCMI Usage Board met in Singapore on 25 and 26 August 2007.

Following Public Comment and extensive discussion in the Usage Board in 2007, a milestone set of updates to DCMI Metadata Terms was published on 14 January 2008:

Now that this set of term-related changes has been published, the Usage Board is turning its full attention back to the criteria and processes of evaluating Application Profiles. As of March 2008, an evaluation of Eprints Application Profile is planned, with several other potential candidate profiles in the review queue. In May 2008, the Usage Board will discuss a draft "Guidelines for Dublin Core Application Profiles" with the contractor Karen Coyle.

Two of the founding members of the Usage Board, Andy Powell of the Eduserv Foundation (UK) and Stuart Sutton of the University of Washington (USA) have stepped down, while three new members were appointed: Julie Allinson of the University of York (UK), Pete Johnson of the Eduserv Foundation (UK) and Stefanie Rühle of the State and University Library Göttingen (Germany).

The next meeting of the DCMI Usage Board will take place in September 2008 in Berlin.

DCMI Advisory Board

Three new members joined the Advisory Board: Julie Allinson of the University of York (UK) and Rosemary Russell of UKOLN (UK) as co-moderators of the new Scholarly Communications Community and Johannes Keizer of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (Italy) as co-moderator of the new Knowledge Management Community.

Six members left the Advisory Board: José Borbinha of the National Library of Portugal, Rachel Heery of UKOLN (UK), Sigfrid Lundberg of the National Library of Denmark, Clifford Lynch of CNI (US), Lynn Marko of the University of Michigan (US) and Jayakumaran Ramasamy of HP (Singapore).

The Advisory Board now consists of 49 members from 16 countries (Australia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US)

DCMI Affiliate Program

In August 2007, the UK Affiliate renewed its term for the period 2007-2010. In March 2008, the National Library of Finland renewed its affiliation for the years 2008-2011.

DCMI Partnership Program

Together with this status report at the end of March 2008, the new DCMI Partnership Program is announced. This program is open for organizations that want to associate themselves with DCMI and provide financial support to DCMI and its activities. Three types of partnerships are available:

The Program is open from 1 April 2008. Please contact the DCMI Directorate for further information and applications.

Incorporation in Singapore

As announced in August 2007, DCMI is planning to become an independently incorporated not-for-profit legal entity (a Public Company limited by Guarantee) in Singapore in the middle of 2008. Preparations are progressing well, and further announcements will be issued on the DCMI Web site in the coming months.

Documentation and Web site content

After the publication of the revised ANSI/NISO standard Z39.85 -2007, the text of this new version was submitted to ISO as a revision of ISO standard 15836. Publication of the revised ISO standard is expected for later in 2008. At the same time, this text was submitted to IETF to replace RFC 2413 that was published in 1998. In August 2007, this new version was published as RFC 5013: The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (2007).

In February 2008, two Calls for Tender were issued, one for Guidelines for implementing application profiles and one for Promotional materials for Affiliates and sponsors.

Highlights of activities in the last months

DCMI Architecture Forum

Public Comment was held in November 2007 on the specification "Expressing Dublin Core metadata using HTML/XHTML meta and link elements". The Public Comment period was successful from a technical standpoint. The advancement of the specification to the status of DCMI Recommendation is now contingent on the completion of a note discussing issues of backwards compatibility and implementation choice.

Following a Public Comment period on the draft specification "Expressing Dublin Core metadata in XML" in June 2006, discussion in Singapore focused on the design tradeoffs of comprehensive and verbose versus terse and simplified encoding styles ("Full" and "Minimal" flavors). As of January 2008, the Architecture Forum is moving forward with a "full" format and discussing requirements for a "minimal" format on the mailing list and in its teleconferences. A revised version of the specification is planned for Public Comment as a proposed DCMI Recommendation in the second quarter of 2008.

The specification "Expressing Dublin Core metadata using the DC-Text format" was published in December 2007 as a DCMI Recommended Resource.

As of March 2008, the specification "DCMI Description Set Profile" is stable and ready for Public Comment.

DCMI Collection Description Community

The Community contributed to the gathering of existing guidelines for collection descriptions. The report is available http://epub.mimas.ac.uk/DC/dc-collections/usage-guides.html.

DCMI Collection Description Application Profile Task Group

The Task Group has:

Several DC element definitions have recently been updated by the DCMI Usage Board. We have to identify how to deal with domains and ranges and the use of Vocabulary vs. Syntax Encoding Schemes.

Further planned activities:

DCMI Education

At DC-2007, the DCMI Education Community presented work to date on the DCMI Education Application Profile, which will be a modular profile, covering only educationally significant properties. Completed tasks on use cases, functional requirements, domain model and recommended vocabularies for instructionalMethod and Type were presented and discussed, with a general consensus that this work is heading in the right direction. However, with the emergence of the Singapore Framework for Application Profiles, it was acknowledged that further work needed to be done, particularly on requirements and the domain model. It was agreed that an Application Profile Task Group should be formed.

Completed tasks to February 2008:

Ongoing tasks:

DCMI Government Application Profile Task Group

There was no progress over the reporting period. The Task Group plans to hold a meeting at DC-2008.

Joint DCMI/IEEE LTSC Taskforce

The Workplan for 2007-2008 of the Task Force is:

Following a series of conference calls, the Task Force submitted two PARs (Project Approval Requests) to the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) at the end of 2007:

DCMI Kernel Task Group

The Kernel Task Group is making progress on the Kernel Application Profile, with a fourth draft in progress and due in late February 2008.

Conference calls have been held monthly, with progress a little slower than anticipated. One of the obstacles encountered has been to agree on whether the application profile applies to the Kernel as a vocabulary or to the description set guidelines imposed by the ERC (Electronic Resource Citation); the emerging consensus is that the ERC is more likely to be the subject of the profile. The group expects to work up maintenance procedures in March, with final integration in April 2008. We hope to have all the group's work completed by DC-2008 in September 2008.

DCMI/RDA Task Group

The DCMI/RDA Task Group was formed in April of 2007, when members of the Joint Steering Committee for the Development of RDA, and representatives of Dublin Core and the W3C Semantic Web Deployment Working Group met in London. At that meeting, three goals were identified:

The Task Group determined that the two goals relating to vocabularies should be tackled first, given that their accomplishment was necessary prior to the development of an application profile. The Task Group has developed a detailed work plan and issues documents, available on the wiki: and has been actively engaged in raising funds to support the development of element and value vocabularies in parallel with the completion of the RDA guidance instruction.

Based on commitments of partial funding for the effort, actual work on the vocabularies has begun under the aegis of co-chairs Gordon Dunsire (University of Strathclyde) and Diane Hillmann (Cornell University). Active participants in the project will include the co-chairs, Karen Coyle (a California-based library consultant active in library standards activities), Mikael Nilsson (co-chair of the DCMI Architecture Forum) and Alistair Miles (editor of the W3C Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) activity). A public mailing list has been made available and announcement of the commencement of the active work on the vocabularies made to the DC-General and RDA lists.

By DC-2008 we hope to be close to completion of stable versions of the vocabularies, and be able to demonstrate them in the context of the web product in development by the RDA publishers. We hope to provide an introduction to RDA and its structure to interested participants of DC-2008.

DCMI Scholarly Communications Community

The DCMI Scholarly Communications Community was set up in October 2007 and has attracted a large number of subscribers (190 to date). It aims to provide a central place for exchanging information, knowledge and general discussion on issues relating to the use of Dublin Core for describing items of 'scholarly communications', be they research papers, conference presentations, images, data objects etc. There has been some initial discussion of the Scholarly Works Application Profile (SWAP) developed recently in the UK.

An aim of the group is to support the implementation of SWAP and other application profile work funded by JISC.

The moderators are currently discussing the option of holding a UK DCMI Affiliate meeting at Open Repositories 2008 which will have some time for discussion of DC-Scholar related application profile work. Also, there is a proposal to use the Scholarly Works Application Profile to test the DCMI Usage Board application profiles review criteria at the DC-2008 conference. Julie Allinson (co-moderator) is taking this forward with the Usage Board.

DCMI Tools

The DCMI Tools Community has been moving forward creating a "DCMI Tools Application Profile", with supporting documentation.

Our original plan was to create a Task Group to do this work, as we proposed at the DCMI Advisory Board meeting in Singapore, during the DC-2007 meeting.

The Task Group has not been launched because none of the original volunteers were able to lead the task force. The DCMI Tools Community co-moderators, Jane Greenberg and Thomas Severiens, thought it was not appropriate for either of them to chair the Task Group, given their larger role in the DCMI Tools Community.

The DCMI Tools Community co-moderators have recently revised the initial Application Profile Task Group plan. Instead, we/the co-moderators are now preparing to lead the completion of the DCMI Tools Application Profile "Description Set" of property definitions. As part of the revised plan, we will also implement "Description Set" fully as a means for describing metadata tools represented on the DCMI Tools Service website. Other documentation required for a full application profile will be explored at a later time.

We have planned for a series of meetings in April 2008 to execute this work. We will work through Skype and may also meet in Germany. Our goal is to have the DCMI Tools Service be more fully operational and current by the end of May 2008.

We will explore drafting a concept document about what might be required for potential sponsorship to support the DCMI Tools Service.

The DCMI Conferences

DC-2007 was held in Singapore in the week of 27-31 August 2007, hosted by the National Library Board of Singapore in cooperation with the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information of Nanyang Technological University.

The conference was officially opened by the Guest of Honour, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore's Minister for Community Development, Youth & Sports and Second Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts and by the Chief Executive of the National Library Board, Dr. N. Varaprasad.

Keynote speeches were given by Johannes Keizer of FAO (Rome, Italy) and Zhang Xiaoxing of the National Cultural Information Resource Center (Beijing, China). The program further included four Tutorials, five paper sessions with a total of 16 peer-reviewed conference papers, 18 Community and Task Group meetings, three special session and two seminars.

The event was well attended with 190 participants from 33 countries. Online versions are available of the closing presentation and of the online proceedings

This year's conference, DC-2008, will be held in Berlin, Germany from 22 through 26 September 2008. The event will be jointly organised by the Competence Centre for Interoperable Metadata (KIM), Max Planck Digital Library, Göttingen State and University Library, the German National Library, and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and hosted at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Under the general theme of "Metadata for Semantic and Social Applications", DC-2008 will focus on metadata challenges, solutions, and innovation in initiatives and activities underlying semantic and social applications. Metadata is part of the fabric of social computing, which includes the use of wikis, blogs, and tagging for collaboration and participation. Metadata also underlies the development of semantic applications, and the Semantic Web — the representation and integration of multimedia knowledge structures on the basis of semantic models. These two trends flow together in applications such as Wikipedia, where authors collectively create structured information that can be extracted and used to enhance access to and use of information sources.

The Call for Papers and further news an announcements are published on the Conference Web site.


At the end of February 2008, the general mailing list DC-General had 886 subscribers. The total number of subscriptions to the active DCMI mailing lists (not counting DC-General) increased from 2,278 to 2,698 in the period over the last twelve months, an increase of 18%. The largest groups are: DCMI Libraries Community (321 subscribers), DCMI Education Community (296), DCMI Scholarly Communications Community (190), DCMI Architecture Forum (189) and DCMI Government Community (172).

The average number of unique visitors to the DCMI Web site increased over the last year to over 91,000 per month, up from an average of around 83,000 per month in 2006. The average number of visits to the Web site per month increased from 160,000 in 2006 to 205,000 over the last year. In 2007, accesses to the DCMI Web site were recorded from 203 countries and territories around the world. Top-10 of accesses came from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Australia, France, Spain, Italy, India and the Netherlands. Top-10 locations were London (UK), Dublin (Ireland), Sydney (Australia), Paris (France), Madrid (Spain), New York (US), Melbourne (Australia), Seattle (US) and Washington, DC (US).

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