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Dublin Core Usage Board Administrative Processes


DCMI Usage Board Administrative Processes

Diane I. Hillmann,
Date Issued:
Is Replaced By:
Latest version:
Description of document:

This document describes the rules and regulations of the DCMI Usage Board for reaching decisions on terms and the registration of encoding schemes, vocabularies, and application profiles.

Part 1: Usage Board: Overview, Meetings, Documentation
1. Usage Board Membership
2. Meetings
3. Categories of Usage Board Decisions
4. Communication and Documentation

Part 2: Proposals for Recommendations and Registrations: Form and Process
5. Proposals for Recommendations
6. Proposals for Registration of Encoding Schemes and Vocabularies
7. Proposals for Registration of Application Profiles

Usage Board: Overview, Meetings, Documentation

1. Usage Board Membership [top]

1.1. The UB will consist of at least seven and no more than eleven people (nine is ideal) appointed by the DCMI Directorate.
1.2. Usage Board member terms shall be for two years, renewable once. Initial appointments will be made so as to stagger terms.
1.3. Members should be selected based on the following criteria:

1.3.1. Knowledgeable concerning the development history and purpose of the DC element set and its relationship to the metadata world at large;
1.3.2. Related to a metadata community relevant to DCMI;
1.3.3. Willing and able to commit time and energy to the functions of the UB;
1.3.4. Able to communicate verbally and in writing in English well enough to prepare documents and discuss complex issues in a group setting;
1.3.5. Geographic and domain distribution of members is relevant but will not override other criteria.
1.4. The UB Chair will be appointed from one of the membership by the DCMI Directorate. The term of the chair shall be for two years, renewable once.
1.5. For internal communication the UB uses the closed mailing list The messages are archived and publicly available at

2. Meetings [top]

2.1. Scheduling 2.1.1. Meetings should be at least twice a year. One meeting should be scheduled during the annual DC general workshop/conference. The second should be scheduled at a different time of the year, preferably close to other conferences, so as to make attendance convenient for as many members as possible. Scheduling should be done far enough in advance so that as many members as possible may be present.
2.2. Funding for meetings should be supported as much as possible by DCMI.
2.3. Meeting agenda
2.3.1. The UB Chair maintains the agenda, which cites links to relevant supporting documentation, including JISCMAIL postings.
2.3.2. All materials pointed to in the agenda are archived at after the final pre-meeting version of the agenda has been distributed. After the meeting, the archive version of the agenda is edited to point to these archive copies.
2.4. Attendance by members

2.4.1. Members must attend at least one meeting in a given year to maintain membership in good standing.
2.4.2. Members who miss two meetings in succession may be replaced by the DC Directorate.
2.5. Attendance by others

2.5.1. Attendance at UB meetings by other than the UB is by invitation. Interested attendees should request an invitation via the UB Chair or the Managing Director.
2.5.2. Participation in discussion of proposals by any interested parties is encouraged.
2.6. Agenda preparation and distribution

2.6.1. The UB chair is responsible for preparing the meeting agendas and assigning shepherds to proposals.
2.6.2. Agenda items shall include the name and email address of the UB member responsible for shepherding the proposal through the UB process.
2.6.3. Agendas shall be available on the UB page of the DCMI website.
2.7. Meeting minutes and decisions

2.7.1. Minutes of discussion points and decisions shall be drafted by a note-taker and posted to the DCMI website.
2.7.2. Important decisions will be assigned a number for citation purposes and documented on the DCMI website.

3. Categories of Usage Board Decisions [top]

3.1. Recommended: Element, Element Refinement, and DCMI Type Vocabulary terms useful for resource discovery across domains.
3.2. Conforming: Element and Element Refinement terms for which an implementation community has a demonstrated need and which conform to the grammar of Elements and Element Refinements, though without necessarily meeting the stricter criteria of usefulness across domains or usefulness for resource discovery.
3.3. Obsolete: For Element and Element Refinement terms that have been superseded, deprecated, or rendered obsolete. Such terms will remain in the registry for use in interpreting legacy metadata.
3.4. Registered: Used for vocabulary schemes, application profiles and language translations for which the DCMI provides information but not necessarily specific recommendation.

4. Documentation [top]

4.1. Documentation

4.1.1. Important documents like UB membership, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, proposals to the UB, voting or decision documents and results (if not part of minutes) and similar are archived as separate documents in an area of the DCMI web site devoted to the UB.
4.1.2. Structure of the UB website is similar to a working group page with an issues, forums and resources section. If necessary, an UB internal section can be password protected.
4.1.3. Historic documents relevant to the UB work, like voting proposals and results from the first DC refinement voting will be archived at the same page.
4.1.4. Results of the UB work which take the form of official DCMI documents (working drafts, proposed recommendations and recommendations) are made available and archived at: as all the other similar documents.
4.1.5. The UB page maintains links to all XML/RDF schemas of UB-maintained namespaces held on the DCMI Web site.

Proposals for Recommendations and Registrations: Form and Process

5. Proposals for Recommendations Terms [top]

5.1. Sources of proposals

5.1.1. DCMI working groups Existing working groups Working groups established for the purpose of developing proposals
5.1.2. Metadata implementers
5.1.3. UB itself
5.2. Requirements for proposals for "Recommended" and "Conforming" status

5.2.1. To be supplied by the proposers (see table below):

Proposal Requirements Table
Name A suggested unique token for use in encodings
Label A suggested human-readable label for the proposed term
Definition The definition of the term
Comment Information concerning the possible application of the proposed term
Examples Examples of use of the proposed term, making clear what type of literal values are expected
Type of term Is the proposed term an "element," or an "element refinement" (as defined in [NOTE: Encoding schemes are registered using a separate process]
Term qualified If the proposed term is a element refinement, which term does it qualify?
Why needed A justification of the need for the proposed term
Proposed status Is the term proposed as Recommended or Conforming?
Related DCMI terms A discussion of possible overlap with existing terms
Related non-DCMI terms An annotated listing of related terms in non-DCMI metadata vocabularies
Impact on applications An annotated listing of existing applications that could be affected by recognition of this term
About the proposers A pointer to a description, in standard form (to be specified) of the working group or organization putting forward the proposal: its scope, aims, a brief history, current status, and a pointer to archives

5.2.2. To be supplied by the UB shepherd: A summary history of the post-announcement discussion
5.3. Guidelines: The following criteria are offered as guidelines for working groups that are developing a proposal -- they reflect criteria that the Usage Board will use in its decision-making. They do not constitute further requirements for the formal documentation of a proposal.

5.3.1. Criteria for evaluating a term proposal Clarity Can the term be clearly defined? Can the semantics of the proposed element or element refinement be expressed precisely, unambiguously, and briefly? Practicality Is the term practical? How difficult would it be for people creating metadata to comprehend the semantics of the proposed element or element refinement and to apply it reasonably in the description of resources? Placement Does the term refine an existing element? If the proposed term is an element, can it reasonably be handled as effectively as an element or value refinement for an existing element? Are there alternative ways of implementing the term? Within the conceptual framework of the Dublin Core Element Set (i.e., element/element refinements and value/value refinements), are there alternative ways to achieve the ends sought? Needs Is there a clear requirement in existing implementations for the term in support of resource discovery? Is there a demonstrated need for the proposed element, element refinement, or value refinement? Are there existing implementations or controlled vocabularies, etc., supporting the term? Fit with other elements/refinements Follows existing principles of refinement Is well-formed Does not conflict with or create ambiguity with regard to existing elements, or refinements Does not create problems for existing legacy implementations if those implementations have followed recommended practice
5.4. Decision tree for assessing the need for a new term

Decision Tree Table

Condition 1:

Can the community of practice's need be solved with a value refinement (i.e., through a domain-specific vocabulary) for an existing DCMI element or element refinement? If so, do that; else …

Condition 2:

Can the community of practice's need be solved through an application profile that references an element or element refinement from an existing and recognized non-DCMI namespace? If so, do that; else …

Condition 3:

Can the community of practice's need be solved with a new domain-specific refinement for an existing DCMI element? If so, do that; else …

Condition 4:

Create a new domain-specific DCMI element (and, if necessary, element and value refinements) to meet the community of practice's need.  

5.5. Process for Moving Proposals

5.5.1. Pre-announcement process Proposal is received by DCMI Managing Director or UB Chair. Proposal is given preliminary review for completeness by DCMI Managing Director and UB Chair. If complete and no revisions needed, proposal is circulated to UB members and announced for public comment. by the Managing Director. A period of two weeks will be allowed between the date of the decision on completeness and the public announcement of the proposal to provide time for preparation of the supporting materials for public dissemination. If incomplete or revisions needed, proposal is returned to originator, with request for revision or additional information.
5.5.2. Announcements Announcements of comment period for proposals to be discussed by the UB shall be made on the DC-general list and other relevant lists. Announcements of proposals shall be made by the DCMI Managing Director. Announcements will include: Links to relevant information to be considered with the proposal Relevant deadlines for comments Addresses for comment submission Information about UB meeting at which the proposal will be discussed, including place, time, and how to request an invitation to participate Name and contact information for the assigned shepherd
5.5.3. Communication Responsibility Table

Community Responsibility Table
What Where Who Comment
Proposal draft posted WG list, DC-General WG Chair
Proposal added to DC-UB agenda DC-UB Website, DC-UB list DC-UB Chair
Proposal announced for public comment DC-General DCMI Managing Director
Usage Board Outcome DC-General DCMI Managing Director
Scheme submission DC-UB List Web Team Submission Tool
Scheme registration DC-UB List Web Team Submission Tool Shepherd may announce to WG list
Digest of scheme registrations DC-General DC-UB chair

5.5.4. Shepherds Each proposal shall be assigned a shepherd by the UB chair from among the UB membership. Shepherds should have knowledge of the proposal issues or be connected to the WG originating the proposal. Responsibilities Monitor discussion on relevant lists (shepherds should be members of the relevant DC WG list during the time of consideration of a proposal). Summarize the comment period discussion and points of contention of the proposal for the UB, either verbally at the meeting or in writing prior to the meeting (preferred). Serve as liaison to the relevant WG or community during the time the proposal is under discussion and after a decision has been made. Recommend to the UB any further action after a decision has been made on the proposal. Prepare registration information for the DCMI Web Team. Prepare draft of UB official decision on the proposal for review and approval by the UB.
5.5.5. Comment period Comment period on proposals should be managed on the DC-General list. Comment periods should be at least one month. Public discussions of UB related issues during public comment periods should take place on DC-GENERAL or other working group mailing lists as specified in the announcement.
5.5.6. Voting Voting shall be limited to scheduled meetings and conference calls. Voting shall be limited to UB members present at the meeting or conference call and able to participate in the discussion. UB members who cannot be present may present their arguments for or against a proposal in writing prior to a meeting (this shall not constitute a vote). UB members who cannot be present may explore other options with the chair, if they cannot be present for an important vote. In all cases, a vote may not be cast by a member who is not present, either actually or virtually, for the relevant discussion. Consensus is achieved if no more than one UB member objects to a proposal.
5.6. Registration of UB Decisions on Proposals

5.6.1. A document explaining the UB decision regarding a proposal will be written in a timely fashion by the shepherd and approved by the UB. The decision will include brief statements of recommendations being issued and detailed explanations of UB decisions not to issue recommendations. UB decisions will be in a form determined by the UB and numbered consecutively for the purpose of citation. The DCMI Web Team will publish UB decisions in the Documents section of the DCMI Web site in a category named DCMI Usage Board Decisions.
5.6.2. Recommended terms will be registered by the shepherd who was responsible for moving the proposal through the UB process. The shepherd will complete a web form transferring the relevant information to the DCMI Web Team for inclusion into the Registry. The DCMI Web Team will report to the UB list when registration has been completed.
6. Proposals for Registration of Encoding Schemes and Vocabularies[top]

6.1. Submissions of new encoding schemes and vocabularies will be received on the DC-UB list via a web form
6.2. DC UB members will "claim" responsibility to shepherd submissions based on:

6.2.1. Their knowledge of a particular scheme or vocabulary
6.2.2. Their knowledge of the language used in the scheme or vocabulary
6.2.3. Their interest or knowledge of a particular subject or topical area covered by the scheme or vocabulary
6.2.4. The time they have available for such tasks
6.3. Submissions unclaimed after one week will be assigned to a DC-UB member by the chair.
6.4. The DC-UB chair will not shepherd individual submissions, but will keep track of submissions and ensure that all are resolved in some manner.
6.5. The shepherd will be responsible for verifying the submitted information:

6.5.1. Name of the scheme or vocabulary
6.5.2. Availability and maintenance status
6.5.3. Appropriateness of the maintenance agency
6.5.4. Uniqueness and appropriateness of the proposed token
6.5.5. Possible use with elements not specified in the proposal
6.6. If necessary, the shepherd will initiate contact with the maintenance agency in the case of questions or concerns about the status of the scheme, the proposed token, or to clarify the submission.
6.7. The shepherd will edit the submission and complete the registration process by submitting the information to the DCMI Web Team.
6.8. The DCMI Web Team will report to the UB list when registration has been completed.
6.9. The DC-UB chair will prepare a monthly report of all new schemes.

7. Proposals for Registration of Application Profiles [top]

    7.1. Submitting Entities: Application profiles may be presented to the Usage Board by any DCMI working group.
    7.2. For the purposes of review by the Usage Board:
      7.2.1. Application profiles must provide, for each term, an identifier of the element set where it is defined, ideally in the form of URIs for individual terms.
      7.2.2. If the terms in an application profile describe anything other than generic "resources" (the typical domain of Dublin Core), the application profile must make this clear. This is particularly important if an application profile is based on a data model that describes multiple classes of resources, such as agents or collections.
      7.2.3. It is recommended that application profiles be prepared using previously reviewed application profiles 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.
      7.2.4. Each application profile must provide, or point to, a short text that describes: The context and purposes in which the application profile 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 application profile.
    7.3. Review of Application Profiles by the Usage Board
      7.3.1. The Usage Board is interested in reviewing application profiles that make substantial use of Dublin Core elements. The review of application profiles by the Usage Board serves to: analyze the usage of Dublin Core within significant implementations; assign a DCMI stamp of approval; promote the sharing of application profiles between communities; and identify new terms as candidates for inclusion in DCMI namespaces.
      7.3.2. An application profile 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.
      7.3.3. 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.
      7.3.4. The use of terms related to Dublin Core (such as refinements 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.
    7.4. Publication and use of Usage Board Reviews
      7.4.1. For application profiles that "pass" review, the Usage Board will publish a Review on a Web page for application profiles.
      7.4.2. Each Review will include, at a minimum: Any comments from the Usage Board on the application profile. Pointers to locally archived copies of the application profile as originally submitted and (if necessary) as subsequently amended in light of Usage Board comments. A pointer to the "latest version" of an application profile held by its maintainers.
    7.5. Review represents a form of recognition, and its URL will be persistent for purposes of citation.