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Dublin Core Metadata Initiative - Status Report September 2008

Makx Dekkers/2008-09-01

Highlights of activities in the last six months

New documentation

On 1 September 2008, a new DCMI Proposed Recommendation was published for "Expressing Dublin Core Description Sets using XML". This specification describes how "description sets" as defined in the DCMI Abstract Model can be encoded in XML, representing the constructs of a description set as XML elements and XML attributes, XML element names and XML attribute names, and as XML element content and XML attribute values. A related document, "Notes on the DC-DS-XML XML Format", describes the development of the format and its relationship to the DCMI Recommendation "Guidelines for implementing Dublin Core in XML" of April 2003.

In August 2008, a new version of the specification "Expressing Dublin Core metadata using HTML/XHTML meta and link elements" was finalized and published as a DCMI Recommendation. This document specifies a set of conventions by which a description set can be represented within an X/HTML Web page using X/HTML elements and attributes and as element content and attribute values. A related document, "Notes on DCMI specifications for Dublin Core metadata in HTML/XHTML meta and link elements", provides a guide to implementers to the differences between the HTML/XHTML meta data profile provided by the 2008 Recommendation and that of the previous Recommendation of November 2003.

DCMI Accessibility

The first 3 parts of the multi-part ISO/IEC JTC1 AccessForAll Standards are due for publication. These were developed in parallel with the DCMI Accessibility work and should be published in September 2008.

AccessForAll metadata was first developed for education. It has been extended in this context by adoption by the ISO/IEC JTC1. It is included in the forthcoming revised version of metadata for Australian resources, across all domains. The idea is that this metadata can be matched to metadata profiles of people's needs and preferences for accessibility. This will support the needs and preferences of people with permanent disabilities, such as blindness and impaired hearing. It is also useful for people with constraints involved in using mobile devices, traveling where the local language is not their own, and similar situations.

At this stage, those working on the Dublin Core version of the standard feel comfortable about the main element involved, accessibility, and are ready to submit that to the DCMI Usage Board. Other terms that refine the main element and include metadata that is useful where there are very restricted access requirements will be considered in the future.

There is not yet accessibility metadata in use but it is clear that as soon as possible user guidelines should be developed to support the use of this kind of metadata.

DCMI Agents Task Group

There have been no activities in the last year. The DCMI Advisory Board will discuss what DCMI can do in this area at its meeting in Berlin on 27 September 2008.

DCMI Architecture Forum

Public comment for the DCMI Working Draft "Description Set Profiles: A constraint language for Dublin Core Application Profiles" by Mikael Nilsson was held from 31 March through 28 April 2008.

A wiki document, "Interoperability levels for Dublin Core metadata", was posted by Mikael Nilsson, Tom Baker, and Pete Johnston in May 2008 as a first step towards situating existing DCMI vocabularies and syntax specifications in a broader context of informal, formal-semantic, and syntactic interoperability.

DCMI Collection Description Application Profile Task Group

The Dublin Core Collection Task Group has the following tasks:

A draft of the edited profile is ready in order to fix minor inconsistencies. Several modifications have been made in order to comply with the DCMI Abstract Model. Revisions may be necessary after finalization of the "Guidelines for Dublin Core Application Profiles" that are under development. Any modifications should be included in the draft NISO Metasearch document.

The group has worked sporadically on those issues this year. We feel it is important to complete the work that has been carried out and expect to be able to do this by the beginning of 2009, according to the following schedule:

DCMI Education Application Profile Task Group

Since the last report, the Task Group has continued to work on the DCMI Education Application Profile Module. Diane Hillmann and Sarah Currier have continued to lead the work, with help from Lara Whitelaw on analysis of the use cases and other requirements submitted earlier this year. We have also had ongoing help, particularly on our Domain Model, from Stuart Sutton and the JISC Learning Materials Application Profile study (in the form of Phil Barker and Lorna Campbell of JISC CETIS).

Lara Whitelaw (with help from Sarah Currier) completed collation and initial analysis of the 49 use cases submitted in response to the Task Group's call, which came from ca. 8 different countries and every educational sector. The requirements represented in these use cases are now available in a spreadsheet which has been made available to the Community for further comment and feedback.

Sarah Currier and Phil Barker are still collaborating out of the JISC LMAP study in order to ensure compatibility of approach to Domain Model and educational properties. Sarah is also liaising with JISC CETIS about securing some more support in the form of AP-writing and possibly funding for project work to complete the AP.

We plan to have draft requirements summary, domain model and functional requirements ready to present to the September DC-2008 Conference Task Group Meeting and to put results to date out for Community feedback after the Conference.

DCMI Government Application Profile Task Group

The DCMI Government Application Profile Task Group was formed during DC-2005 with the goal to work out a Dublin Core Application Profile for government information. In 2005, a draft document by New Zealand and Denmark was converted to a wiki format with the intention to share ideas about the semantics of elements, specific for the Government domain.

From the beginning there were only a few reactions, from UK, Canada and one very comprehensive contribution from China. However, there was only very little or no response from the community to these contributions. Last year there has been no activity on the Wiki at all.

At DC-2008 we will ask the community what might be the reasons behind the low response and how we want to cope with it. We may want to change the approach or the goals, look for another, broader audience or simply consolidate the Application Profile the way it is and de-activate the Task Group.

DCMI Identifiers Community

A discussion will take place at DC-2008 on the activities of the community and on topics for discussion.

Joint DCMI/IEEE LTSC Taskforce

The Work plan 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 DCMI Kernel Metadata Task Group's main task is to produce the Kernel Application Profile (KAP). The group has 8 members who have been meeting once a month via conference call since August 2007. Three KAP drafts have been published this year (1.3, 1.4, and 1.4a) on http://dublincore.org/kernelwiki, reflecting the group's evolving understanding of the application profile requirements.

While progress has been made, a significant problem has been understanding exactly where the Kernel meets the DCMI Abstract Model and the Singapore Framework. In part to help with this difficulty, a discussion was initiated on the DCMI Architecture Forum concerning a promising new proposal, "Interoperability levels for Dublin Core metadata". In the latter half of 2008, the Kernel group hopes that the layered notion of interoperability outlined in this proposal will provide a clear path forward for the KAP documentation.

DCMI Knowledge Management Community

The new community mailing list was created and a survey was conducted with the members of the community concerning the direction the community should take. The results of the survey will be discussed at the meeting of the group at DC-2008 in Berlin where we can refine and focus our goals and objectives for the coming year. Once we have specifics, we plan to have more directed discussions on the mailing list. The community members have a broad background and it should be an interesting meeting.

Besides reviewing the survey and brainstorming about future activities, two presentations are planned: one by Johannes Keizer and the other by Michael Warner.

DCMI Libraries Community

Christine Frodl (DNB) and Stefanie Rühle (SUB Göttingen) have taken over as moderators of the Community. Once they have familiarized themselves with the organization of the work structure they plan to update the DCMI Libraries Community Website, get into contact with the DCMI Libraries Task Group leaders and discuss with them further steps. They also organize the DCMI Libraries Community meeting at DC-2008 in Berlin.

DCMI Libraries Application Profile Task Group

The DCMI Libraries Application Profile Task Group is submitting to the Usage Board three legacy properties to be reviewed for inclusion in DCMI Metadata Terms. The properties are currently used in implementations of the profile in various projects.

DCMI/RDA Task Group

This work is being sponsored by the British Library and Siderean Software.

The DCMI/RDA Task Group is currently focused on completion of the work using a combination of funded and volunteer effort, and aims to complete Tasks 1 and 2 and make some progress on Task 3 (the application profile) with the current funding.

Task 1 was to "define RDA modeling entities as an RDF vocabulary (properties and classes)". At this stage, the first round of RDA Elements has been completed (see: http://metadataregistry.org/schema/show/id/1.html) and entered provisionally on the NSDL Registry. The Registry provides HTML pages and RDF schema representations of the vocabulary as well.

To begin Task 2, several RDA Value Vocabularies were registered (for a sample see RDA applied materials at http://metadataregistry.org/vocabulary/show/id/36.html)

Final versions of the RDA text are intended to be completed in December 2008 and completion of the work on the vocabularies are scheduled for the end of 2008, assuming few or no changes to the text.

A more detailed report is also available.

DCMI Social Tagging

2008 is a year in which tagging, as such, seems to have gained some stability and understanding for what it is, and might be. Tagging has been going on with user-contributed content such as images, blogs, etc and also in more formal experiments, such as the STEVE Project. What has emerged is some recognizable patterns but still not a lot of strong conclusions. The DCMI Social Tagging Community provides some links to interesting papers and people in this context. There is a sense that it is time to write at least some guidelines for making useful Dublin Core-style tags and this will be the focus of work in the near future. It is hoped that Semantic Web technologies, such as SKOS, will enable the values of tags to be used to give some sort of meaning and/or interoperability of the tags, and so lead to interesting results in the future.

DCMI Standards Community

The Community moderator is monitoring the progress of the revision of ISO 15836 which is expected to replace the current 2003 version in 2008.

Organization and management

Incorporation in Singapore

We are currently in the process to incorporate of DCMI as a Company limited by Guarantee. This type of legal entity is particularly suited for not-for-profit organizations like DCMI, and is controlled by its Members. The current DCMI Affiliates will establish the new organization and become its Members, while new Members can be signed up at any time. As a consequence of the incorporation, the DCMI Affiliate Program will be converted into the DCMI Membership Program.

More information will be available at DC-2008 at the end of September 2008.

Changes in the work structure

In June 2008, after almost five years of service, Robina Clayphan of the British Library stepped down as moderator of the DCMI Libraries Community. Christine Frodl of the German National Library and Stefanie Rühle of the State and University Library Göttingen have taken over from Robina as co-moderators of the group.

A DCMI Registry Task Group was set up with the primary aims of developing shared functional requirements and inter-registry interoperability issues. Further information can be found in the section on this Task Group above and on the Task Group's Wiki.

DCMI Board of Trustees

The DCMI Board of Trustees met on 9 and 10 May 2008 in Washington, DC, and had a further conference call in July 2008. The Board discussed issues related to the incorporation of DCMI as a independent entity in Singapore, the budget and the strategy for the short and medium term.

Due to a job change, David Dawson stepped down as representative on the Board for the UK Affiliate and was replaced by Rachel Bruce of JISC. Joseph Busch, independent member of the Board since its establishment in 2002, will step down when DCMI's incorporation as an independent legal entity in Singapore has taken place.

The next meeting of the DCMI Board of Trustees is scheduled for 22 September in Berlin.

DCMI Usage Board

Since the last status report of March 2008, the Usage Board has been preparing for its annual face-to-face meeting, to be held on the weekend before the DC-2008 conference in Berlin on 20-21 September 2008.

The Usage Board continued its work on review criteria for the review of Application Profiles and have undertaken a review of the Scholarly Works Application Profile. The Usage Board will also review proposals from the DCMI Libraries Application Profile Task Group and the DCMI Accessibility Community.

The Usage Board also provided feedback on drafts of the document "Guidelines for Dublin Core Application Profiles" which is due to be published in September 2008. This document is the deliverable of a tender that was issued in February 2008 and was awarded to Karen Coyle.

DCMI Advisory Board

Stefanie Rühle and Christine Frodl have become members of the Advisory Board. Christine as a co-moderator of the DCMI Libraries Community and Stefanie as a member of the DCMI Usage Board and co-moderator of the DCMI Libraries Community.

The Advisory Board now consists of 51 members from 16 countries (Australia, China, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US).

The next meeting of the DCMI Advisory Board is scheduled for 27 September 2008 in Berlin.

DCMI Affiliate Program

Both the National Library of Finland and the National Library Board Singapore have renewed their Affiliation for the period 2008-2011.

DCMI Partnership Program

After the introduction of the DCMI Partnership Program, we have welcomed two DCMI Partners, Platinum Partner Infocom Corporation, the Japanese company that develops InfoLib, an integrated multimedia search system that is based on the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, and Gold Partner Fondazione Rinascimento Digitale, the Italian Digital Renaissance Foundation that promotes the use of the new Information and Communication Technologies for cultural heritage applications.

In addition, The British Library and Siderean Software Inc. agreed to sponsor the DCMI/RDA Task Group.

DCMI Web site

Migration to National Library of Korea

On July 17, 2008, the transition of the DCMI Web site including all DCMI Wikis and the internal content management and e-mail infrastructure, to the National Library of Korea was successfully completed. The DCMI Directorate wishes to express thanks to OCLC Research for having hosted the DCMI Web site for more than ten years, and to the National Library of Korea for agreeing to take on this role from now on. The National Library of Korea is a member of the DCMI Affiliate Program and also hosts the DCMI Conference Paper Repository.

The DCMI Conferences

This year's conference, DC-2008, will be held in Berlin, Germany from 22 through 26 September 2008. The event is jointly organized 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.

The general theme of this year's conference is "Metadata for Semantic and Social Applications".

The program includes two Tutorial tracks on Monday 22 September (one in English and one in German); a conference and workshop program on 23-25 September with four keynotes, five Full-Paper Plenary Sessions, three Project Report Sessions, and 17 workshop meetings; and four seminars on Friday 26 September.

The conference program includes:

Accepted papers are from authors from Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US.

All of the accepted papers and project reports will be published in the printed and online proceedings. Abstracts of the accepted posters will be in the printed proceedings, but there are plans to make the visual posters accessible after the conference in the DCMI Conference Paper Repository.


At the end of July 2008, the general mailing list DC-General had 890 subscribers. The total number of subscriptions to the active DCMI mailing lists (not counting DC-General) increased from 2,344 to 2,754 in the period over the last twelve months, an increase of 17.5%. The largest groups are: DCMI Libraries Community (320 subscribers), DCMI Education Community (303), DCMI Scholarly Communications Community (194), DCMI Architecture Forum (194) and DCMI Government Community (166).

The average number of unique visitors to the DCMI Web site increased over the last six months to over 100,000 per month, up from an average of around 90,000 per month in 2007. The average number of visits to the Web site per month increased from 205,000 in 2007 to 225,000 over the first half of 2008. In the first half of 2008, accesses to the DCMI Web site were recorded from 201 countries and territories around the world. Top-10 of accesses came from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, France, Spain, Australia, Italy, India and Ireland. Top-10 locations were London (UK), Dublin (Ireland), Paris (France), Madrid (Spain), Boston (US), New York (US), Melbourne (Australia), Sydney (Australia), Berlin (Germany) and Seattle (US).

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