The DCMI Glossary is a collaborative effort of the  Dublin Core community. Terms included in this glossary are based on DCMI documents, presentations at DC conferences, and discussions on the DC General listserv. We are seeking new terms,  deletions or changes to the terms found on the Dublin Core glossary http://dublincore.org/documents/usageguide/glossary.shtml

Terms to add or change; identify the terms as 9to be determine):
    Classic (or DC level)

Abstract model
Application profile (update)
Conceptual model
DCAM (see reference to Dublin Core Abstract Model)
Description Set Profile
Singapore Framework

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1:1 principle
The principle whereby related but conceptually different entities, for example a painting and a digital image of the painting, are described by separate metadata records


application profile
In DCMI usage, an application profile is a declaration of the metadata terms an organization, information resource, application, or user community uses in its metadata. In a broader sense, it includes the set of metadata elements, policies, and guidelines defined for a particular application or implementation. The elements may be from one or more element sets, thus allowing a given application to meet its functional requirements by using metadata elements from several element sets including locally defined sets. For example, a given application might choose a specific subset of the Dublin Core elements that meets its needs, or may include elements from the Dublin Core, another element set, and several locally defined elements, all combined in a single schema. An application profile is not considered complete without documentation that defines the policies and best practices appropriate to the application.
Appropriate values
Best practice for a particular Element or Qualifier may vary by context. Definitions may provide some guidance; other information may be found in "Using Dublin Core".


best practice
Guidance and documentation to describe and standardize the use of metadata elements that best support a community's needs.



Dublin Core Application Profile " is a declaration specifying which metadata terms an organization, information provider, or user community uses in its metadata. By definition, a DCAP identifies the source of metadata terms used - whether they have been defined in formally maintained standards such as Dublin Core, in less formally defined element sets and vocabularies, or by the creator of the DCAP itself for local use in an application. Optionally, a DCAP may provide additional documentation on how the terms are constrained, encoded, or interpreted for application-specific purposes." See http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/dcmi/dc-elem-prop/
Dublin Core Metadata Element Set. See Dublin Core.
See Dublin Core Metadata Initiative
DCMI recommendation
A DCMI recommendation is a human-readable document that may define one or more DCMI terms.
DCMI term
A DCMI term is a DCMI element, a DCMI qualifier or term from a DCMI-maintained controlled vocabulary. Each DCMI term is defined in a DCMI recommendation and is identified by a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) within a DCMI namespace.
DCMI term declaration
A DCMI term declaration is the machine-processable representation of one or more DCMI terms, expressed in a schema language.
See Dublin Core Structured Value
digital tourist
An inexperienced searcher in the digital environment who does not possess knowledge of community- specific vocabularies. The Dublin Core provides a rudimentary vocabulary, or "pidgin language" for information discovery when exploring new digital territories. Coined by Ricky Erway at the Metadata Workshop on Metadata for Networked Images, September 24-25, 1996.
A mechanism for refining the meaning of the element in HTML; for example, <META NAME="DC.Title.Alternative" CONTENT="Title">
Dublin Core
The Dublin Core is a metadata element set. It includes all DCMI terms (that is, refinements, encoding schemes, and controlled vocabulary terms) intended to facilitate discovery of resources. The Dublin Core has been in development since 1995 through a series of focused invitational workshops that gather experts from the library world, the networking and digital library research communities, and a variety of content specialties. See the Dublin Core Web Site for additional information.
Dublin Core Metadata Initiative
The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative is the body responsible for the ongoing maintenance of Dublin Core. DCMI is currently hosted by the OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., a not-for-profit international library consortium. The work of DCMI is done by contributors from many institutions in many countries. DCMI is organized into Communities and Task Groups to address particular problems and tasks (see the DCMI Work structure page). Participation in DCMI is open to all interested parties. Instructions for joining can be found at the DCMI web site on the DCMI Contact information page.
Dublin Core Simple
See Simple Dublin Core
Dublin Core Structured Values
DCSV recognizes two types of substrings: labels and values. A label is the name of the type of a value, and a value is the data itself. A value that is comprised of components, i.e. a value which has its own label and value, is called a structured value. Punctuation supports the parsing of the DCSV.
Dublin Core Terms
See DCMI term
Dumb-down Principle
The qualification of Dublin Core Elements is guided by a rule known colloquially as the Dumb-Down Principle. According to this rule, a client should be able to ignore any qualifier and use the value as if it were unqualified. While this may result in some loss of specificity, the remaining term value (minus the qualifier) must continue to be generally correct and useful for discovery. Qualification is therefore supposed only to refine, not extend the semantic scope of an Element.


An element is a property of a resource. As intended here, "properties" are attributes of resources -- characteristics of a resource, such as a Title, Publisher, or Subject. Elements are formally defined terms which are used to describe attributes and properties of a resource.
element refinement (qualifier)
Qualifiers make the meaning of an element narrower or more specific. An element refinement is a property of a resource which shares the meaning of a particular DCMI Element but with narrower semantics. In some application environments (notably HTML-based encodings), Element refinements are used together with elements in the manner of natural-language "qualifiers" (i.e., adjectives) . However, since element refinements are properties of a resource (like elements), element refinements can alternatively be used in metadata records independently of the properties they refine. In DCMI practice, an Element refinement refines just one parent DCMI property.
embedded metadata
Metadata that is maintained and stored within the object it describes; the opposite of stand-alone metadata.
encoding scheme
An encoding scheme provides contextual information or parsing rules that aid in the interpretation of a term value. Such contextual information may take the form of controlled vocabularies, formal notations, or parsing rules. If an encoding scheme is not understood by a client or agent, the value may still be useful to a human reader. There are two types of encoding schemes: Vocabulary Encoding Schemes and Syntax Encoding Schemes
Having the potential to be expanded in scope, area or size. In the case of Dublin Core, the ability to extend a core set of metadata with additional elements.


The level of detail at which an information object or resource is viewed or described.


An identifiable occurrence or occasion of something; in the case of Dublin Core, a specific occurrence of an information resource.
The ability of different types of computers, networks, operating systems, and applications to work together effectively, without prior communication, in order to exchange information in a useful and meaningful manner. There are three aspects of interoperability: semantic, structural and syntactical.
Interoperability Qualifiers
Additional metadata used either to refine the semantics of a Dublin Core metadata element's value, or to provide more information about the encoding scheme used for the value.




A literal or "appropriate literal" is the value of any given metadata entity that can be either a hyperlink or a string value (literal). A literal affords a great deal of flexibility and power, but increases complexity. Metadata should as well include an appropriate literal that reflects the base value of the metadata entity. For example, in these fragments: creator = "Public, John Q." creator = " http://authority.org/public-john-q-1234" the first has a value expressed as an appropriate literal whereas the second has a (hypothetical) link to an authority structure. It is not entirely clear what a person or application will find at the end of the link, so the metadata should contain an appropriate literal for simple discovery purposes.


In general, "data about data;" functionally, "structured data about data." Metadata includes data associated with either an information system or an information object for purposes of description, administration, legal requirements, technical functionality, use and usage, and preservation. . In the case of Dublin Core, information that expresses the intellectual content, intellectual property and/or instantiation characteristics of an information resource. See Section 1.1 of this guide. For a history of the term See Caplan,pp. 1-3.
metadata record
A syntactically correct representation of the descriptive information (metadata) for an information resource. In the case of Dublin Core, a representation of the Dublin Core elements that has been defined for the resource. The majority of metadata records and record fragments in this document are presented in HTML syntax.
metadata schema registry
A publicly accessible system that records the semantics, structure and interchange formats of any type of metadata. A formal authority, or agency, maintains and manages the development and evolution of a metadata registry. The authority is responsible for policies pertaining to registry contents and operation. See also http://www.dlib.org/dlib/may02/wagner/05wagner.html


A DCMI namespace is a collection of DCMI terms. Each DCMI namespace is identified by a URI. An XML namespace [XML-NAMES] is a collection of names, identified by a URI reference [RFC2396], that are used in XML documents as element types and attribute names. The use of XML namespaces to uniquely identify metadata terms allows those terms to be unambiguously used across applications, promoting the possibility of shared semantics. DCMI adopts this mechanism for the identification of all DCMI terms. For example, the namespace for Dublin Core elements and qualifiers would be expressed respectively in XML as:

xmlns:dc = "http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/
xmlns:dcterms = "http://purl.org/dc/terms/

The use of namespaces allows the definition of an element to be unambiguously identified with a URI, even though the label "title" alone might occur in many metadata sets. In more general terms, one can think of any closed set of names as a namespace. Thus, a controlled vocabulary such as the Library of Congress Subject Headings, a set of metadata elements such as DC, or the set of all URLs in a given domain can be thought of as a namespace that is managed by the authority that is in charge of that particular set of terms.



Parsing may be divided into parts: lexical analysis and semantic parsing. Lexical analysis divides strings into components based on punctuation or tagging. Semantic parsing then attempts to determine the meaning of the string.


"Qualifiers" is the generic heading traditionally used for terms now usually referred to specifically as Element Refinements or Encoding Schemes. A qualifier must follow the Dumb-Down Principle. There are two broad categories of qualifiers: Encoding schema and Element refinement.
Qualified Dublin Core
Qualified Dublin Core includes an additional element, Audience, as well as a group of element refinements (also called qualifiers) that refine the semantics of the elements in ways that may be useful in resource discovery


See Resource Description Framework.
RDF Site Summary
RSS was created and popularized by Netscape for their personalized portal site. Rich Site Summary (RSS) is a lightweight XML application designed to exchange headline metadata between news content providers and portals.
A record is some structured metadata about a resource, comprising one or more properties and their associated values. http://dublincore.org/documents/2003/04/02/dc-xml-guidelines/
A resource is anything that has identity. Familiar examples include an electronic document, an image, a service (e.g., "today's weather report for Los Angeles"), and a collection of other resources. Not all resources are network "retrievable"; e.g., human beings, corporations, and bound books in a library can also be considered resources. http://dublincore.org/documents/2003/04/02/dc-xml-guidelines/


schema or scheme(plurals schemas or schemata; schemes)
In general terms, any organization, coding, outline or plan of concepts. In terms of metadata, a systematic, orderly combination of elements or terms. In terms of DCMI term declarations represented in XML or RDF schema language, schemas are machine-processable specifications which define the structure and syntax of metadata specifications in a formal schema language. In terms of an encoding scheme, is a set of rules for encoding information that supports a specific community of users. See also Encoding scheme.
See schema
semantic interoperability
Ability to search for digital information across heterogeneous distributed databases whose metadata schemas have been mapped to one another. It is achieved through agreements about content description standards; for example, Dublin Core, Anglo-American Cataloging Rules.
Semantic Web
A term coined by Tim Berners-Lee which views the future Web as a web of data, like a global database. The infrastructure of the Semantic Web would allow machines as well as humans to make deductions and organize information. The architectural components include semantics (meaning of the elements), structure (organization of the elements), and syntax (communication). http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Semantic.html
Significance or meaning. In the case of Dublin Core, the significance or intended meaning of individual metadata elements and their components.
Simple Dublin Core
The fifteen Dublin Core elements used without qualifiers, that is without element refinement or encoding schemes. Sometimes referred to as Dublin Core simple.
structured value
See Dublin Core Structured Value
structural interoperability
Is achieved through data models for specifying semantic schemas in a way that they can be shared; for example, RDF.
structural metadata
Structural metadata defines the digital object's internal organization and is needed for display and navigation of that object.
See element refinement
surrogate content
Metadata as a substitute for an actual resource.
switching language
A mediating language used to establish equivalencies among various indexing languages. Dublin Core has been viewed as a switching "language" between various metadata schemas.
syntactic interoperability
Achieved by marking up our data in a similar fashion so we can share the data and so that our machines can understand and take the data apart in sensible ways; for example, XML, EAD and MARC.
The form and structure with which metadata elements are combined. In the case of Dublin Core, the form and structure of how metadata elements and their components are combined to form a metadata record.
Syntax Encoding Schemes
Syntax Encoding Schemes indicate that the value is a string formatted in accordance with a formal notation, such as "2000-01-01" as the standard expression of a date.


The means to denote the status of an element or qualifier within a registry; e.g., proposed, recommended, conforming (to the namespace), obsolete, or local.



value qualifier
Value qualifier refers to either an encoding rule or controlled vocabulary that aids in the interpretation of the value within the metatag. See encoding scheme.
Vocabulary Encoding Schemes
Vocabulary Encoding Schemes indicate that the value is a term from a controlled vocabulary, such as the value "China - History" from the Library of Congress Subject Headings.
Vocabulary Terms
The Usage Board maintains the DCMI Type Vocabulary -- a general, cross-domain list of recommended terms that may be used as values for the Resource Type element to identify the genre of a resource. The member terms of the DCMI Type Vocabulary are called Vocabulary Terms.


Warwick Framework
An architecture for the interchange of metadata packages, or "containers"; designed to satisfy the need for competing, overlapping, and complementary metadata models. For more information, see http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july96/07weibel.html.

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