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DCMI Usage Board Review of Application Profiles

Title: DCMI Usage Board Review of Application Profiles
Creator: Thomas Baker
Latest version:
Date modified: 2002-07-06
Description: This document defines the term "Application
                     Profile" in the context of the Dublin Core
                     Metadata Initiative and outlines the criteria
                     by which the DCMI Usage Board can review an
                     Application Profile and assign to it a status.

  1. "Application Profile" defined

For the purposes of DCMI Usage Board review, an Application Profile (AP) is a declaration of which metadata terms an organization, information resource, application, or user community uses in its metadata. Moreover:

-- By definition, an AP cannot "declare" new metadata terms and definitions; it only "reuses" terms from existing element sets [HEERY].

-- The ideal element set will use URIs to uniquely identify its terms within XML namespaces [DCMI-NAMESPACE]. As of 2002, however, this cannot be required.

-- By definition, any new term coined for use in an AP must first be declared in a form citable in the AP.

-- An AP may also provide additional documentation on how the terms used are constrained, encoded, or interpreted for particular purposes.

As of 2002, APs are seen primarily as a form of documentation, the purpose of which is to help implementor communities harmonize their metadata practice. It is hoped that in the longer term, machine-processable versions of such APs based on data models such as RDF will provide a basis for automating metadata interoperability functions such as semantic crosswalks and format conversions.

  1. Documentation requirements for Application Profiles

Application Profiles may be presented to the Usage Board by any DCMI working group.

For the purposes of review by the Usage Board:

-- APs must provide, for each term, an identifier of the element set where it is defined, ideally in the form of URIs for individual terms.

-- If the terms in an AP describe anything other than generic "resources" (the typical domain of Dublin Core), the AP must make this clear. This is particularly important if an AP is based on a data model that describes multiple classes of resources, such as agents or collections.

-- It is recommended that APs be prepared using previously reviewed APs as models for their layout, appearance, and content. Aside from the required term and element set identifiers, there are no particular constraints on the types of documentation -- local definitions, comments, constraints, or technical notes -- that may be associated with a term.

-- Each AP must provide, or point to, a short text that describes:

-- The context and purposes in which the AP is used
   or is likely to be used.

-- The organizations or individuals involved in its
   development and a capsule history thereof.

-- Any arrangements, policies, or intentions regarding the 
   future development and maintenance of the AP.
  1. Review of Application Profiles by the Usage Board

-- The Usage Board is interested in reviewing APs that make substantial use of Dublin Core elements. The review of APs by the Usage Board serves to:

-- analyze the usage of Dublin Core within significant 
-- assign a DCMI stamp of approval;
-- promote the sharing of APs between communities; and
-- identify new terms as candidates for inclusion in
   DCMI namespaces.

-- An AP is "well-formed" if it is presented in accordance with the broad and flexible requirements outlined above. These presentation requirements may become more specific as "good practice" emerges over time.

-- Usage Board review focuses on the use of terms related to Dublin Core terms and on any data models that provide a context for those terms. The Usage Board is agnostic about the use of terms not directly related to Dublin Core; strictly speaking such terms are outside the scope of Usage Board review.

-- The use of terms related to Dublin Core (such as qualifiers of Dublin Core elements, or Dublin Core elements that have been constrained for particular contexts) will be evaluated from the standpoint of grammatical principle (eg, "dumb-down"), clarity, and good practice.

  1. Publication and use of Usage Board reviews

-- For APs that "pass" review, the Usage Board will publish a Review on a Web page for APs.

-- Each Review will include, at a minimum:

-- Any comments from the Usage Board on the AP.
-- Pointers to locally archived copies of the AP
    as originally submitted and (if necessary) as 
    subsequently amended in light of Usage Board 
-- A pointer to the "latest version" of an AP
    held by its maintainers.

-- Review represents a form of recognition, and its URL will be persistent for purposes of citation.

-- The official status of reviewed APs will be that of "Reviewed".


[HEERY] Rachel Heery and Manjula Patel, Application profiles: mixing and matching metadata schemas, Ariadne 25, September 2000,

[DCMI-NAMESPACE] Andy Powell, Harry Wagner, Stuart Weibel, Tom Baker, Tod Matola, Eric Miller, Namespace policy for the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative,