Dublin Core™ Metadata Element Set, Version 1.1: Reference Description (2023)

Table of Contents
Introduction The Elements FAQs
Creators: DCMI Usage Board
Date Issued: 2012-06-14
Latest Version: https://dublincore.org/specifications/dublin-core/dces/
Release History: https://dublincore.org/specifications/dublin-core/dces/release_history/
Description: This document provides ready reference for the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, Version 1.1.

Please note that this version of the specification for the Dublin Core Element Set is somewhat out of date. Please see the DCMI Metadata Terms for the current documentation of its fifteen terms

"The Dublin Core", also known as the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, is a set of fifteen "core" elements (properties) for describing resources. This fifteen-element Dublin Core was first standardized in 1998 as IETF RFC 2413, "Dublin Core Metadata for Resource Discovery", and subsequently published as ANSI/NISO Z39.85 and ISO 15836. Documentation for these core properties is now included as part of the larger set of DCMI Metadata Terms. This version of the fifteen-element Dublin Core, from 2012, is provided here as a historical snapshot. Like other Web-oriented vocabularies of the late 1990s, the Dublin Core was published with a version number, "1.1", after which the practice of publishing new releases as numbered versions was abandoned in favor of publishing releases simply by date.

Introduction

The Dublin Core™ Metadata Element Set is a vocabulary of fifteen properties for use in resource description. The name "Dublin" is due to its origin at a 1995 invitational workshop in Dublin, Ohio; "core" because its elements are broad and generic, usable for describing a wide range of resources.

The fifteen element "Dublin Core™" described in this standard is part of a larger set of metadata vocabularies and technical specifications maintained by the Dublin Core™ Metadata Initiative (DCMI). The full set of vocabularies, DCMI Metadata Terms [DCMI-TERMS], also includes sets of resource classes (including the DCMI Type Vocabulary [DCMI-TYPE]), vocabulary encoding schemes, and syntax encoding schemes. The terms in DCMI vocabularies are intended to be used in combination with terms from other, compatible vocabularies in the context of application profiles and on the basis of the DCMI Abstract Model [DCAM].

All changes made to terms of the Dublin Core™ Metadata Element Set since 2001 have been reviewed by a DCMI Usage Board in the context of a DCMI Namespace Policy [DCMI-NAMESPACE]. The namespace policy describes how DCMI terms are assigned Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) and sets limits on the range of editorial changes that may allowably be made to the labels, definitions, and usage comments associated with existing DCMI terms.

This document, an excerpt from the more comprehensive document "DCMI Metadata Terms" [DCTERMS] provides an abbreviated reference version of the fifteen element descriptions that have been formally endorsed in the following standards:

  • ISO Standard 15836:2009 of February 2009 [ISO15836]
  • ANSI/NISO Standard Z39.85-2012 of February 2013 [NISOZ3985]
  • IETF RFC 5013 of August 2007 [RFC5013]

Since 1998, when these fifteen elements entered into a standardization track, notions of best practice in the Semantic Web have evolved to include the assignment of formal domains and ranges in addition to definitions in natural language. Domains and ranges specify what kind of described resources and value resources are associated with a given property. Domains and ranges express the meanings implicit in natural-language definitions in an explicit form that is usable for the automatic processing of logical inferences. When a given property is encountered, an inferencing application may use information about the domains and ranges assigned to a property in order to make inferences about the resources described thereby.

Since January 2008, therefore, DCMI includes formal domains and ranges in the definitions of its properties. So as not to affect the conformance of existing implementations of "simple Dublin Core™" in RDF, domains and ranges have not been specified for the fifteen properties of the dc: namespace (http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/). Rather, fifteen new properties with "names" identical to those of the Dublin Core™ Metadata Element Set Version 1.1 have been created in the dcterms: namespace (http://purl.org/dc/terms/). These fifteen new properties have been defined as subproperties of the corresponding properties of DCMES Version 1.1 and assigned domains and ranges as specified in the more comprehensive document "DCMI Metadata Terms" [DCTERMS].

Implementers may freely choose to use these fifteen properties either in their legacy dc: variant (e.g., http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/creator) or in the dcterms: variant (e.g., http://purl.org/dc/terms/creator) depending on application requirements. The RDF schemas of the DCMI namespaces describe the subproperty relation of dcterms:creator to dc:creator for use by Semantic Web-aware applications. Over time, however, implementers are encouraged to use the semantically more precise dcterms: properties, as they more fully follow emerging notions of best practice for machine-processable metadata.

References

[RFC5013]http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc5013.txt
[NISOZ3985]http://www.niso.org/apps/group_public/download.php/10256/Z39-85-2012_dublin_core.pdf
[ISO15836]https://www.iso.org/standard/52142.html
[TRANSLATIONS]http://dublincore.org/resources/translations/
[DCTERMS]http://dublincore.org/specifications/dublin-core/dcmi-terms/

The Elements

Term Name: contributor
URI:http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/contributor
Label:Contributor
Definition:An entity responsible for makingcontributions to the resource.
Comment:Examples of a Contributor include a person,an organization, or a service. Typically, thename of a Contributor should be used to indicatethe entity.
Term Name: coverage
URI:http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/coverage
Label:Coverage
Definition:The spatial or temporal topic of the resource, thespatial applicability of the resource, or thejurisdiction under which the resource is relevant.
Comment:Spatial topic and spatial applicability may be a named place or a location specified by its geographic coordinates. Temporal topic may be a named period, date, or date range. A jurisdiction may be a named administrative entity or a geographic place to which the resource applies. Recommended best practice is to use a controlled vocabulary such as the Thesaurus of Geographic Names [TGN]. Where appropriate, named places or time periods can be used in preference to numeric identifiers such as sets of coordinates or date ranges.
References:[TGN] http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/tgn/index.html
Term Name: creator
URI:http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/creator
Label:Creator
Definition:An entity primarily responsible for makingthe resource.
Comment:Examples of a Creator include a person, anorganization, or a service. Typically, the nameof a Creator should be used to indicate the entity.
Term Name: date
URI:http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/date
Label:Date
Definition:A point or period of time associated with anevent in the lifecycle of the resource.
Comment:Date may be used to express temporal informationat any level of granularity. Recommended bestpractice is to use an encoding scheme, such asthe W3CDTF profile of ISO 8601 [W3CDTF].
References:[W3CDTF] http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-datetime
Term Name: description
URI:http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/description
Label:Description
Definition:An account of the resource.
Comment:Description may include but is not limited to:an abstract, a table of contents, a graphicalrepresentation, or a free-text account ofthe resource.
Term Name: format
URI:http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/format
Label:Format
Definition:The file format, physical medium, or dimensionsof the resource.
Comment:Examples of dimensions includesize and duration. Recommended best practice isto use a controlled vocabulary such as the listof Internet Media Types [MIME].
References:[MIME] http://www.iana.org/assignments/media-types/
Term Name: identifier
URI:http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/identifier
Label:Identifier
Definition:An unambiguous reference to the resource withina given context.
Comment:Recommended best practice is to identify theresource by means of a string conformingto a formal identification system.
Term Name: language
URI:http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/language
Label:Language
Definition:A language of the resource.
Comment:Recommended best practice is to use a controlledvocabulary such as RFC 4646 [RFC4646].
References:[RFC4646] http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc4646.txt
Term Name: publisher
URI:http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/publisher
Label:Publisher
Definition:An entity responsible for making the resourceavailable.
Comment:Examples of a Publisher include a person, anorganization, or a service. Typically, the name ofa Publisher should be used to indicate the entity.
Term Name: relation
URI:http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/relation
Label:Relation
Definition:A related resource.
Comment:Recommended best practice is to identify therelated resource by means of a string conformingto a formal identification system.
Term Name: rights
URI:http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/rights
Label:Rights
Definition:Information about rights held in andover the resource.
Comment:Typically, rights information includesa statement about various property rightsassociated with the resource, includingintellectual property rights.
Term Name: source
URI:http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/source
Label:Source
Definition:A related resource from which the described resource is derived.
Comment:The described resource may be derived from therelated resource in whole or in part. Recommendedbest practice is to identify the related resourceby means of a string conforming to a formalidentification system.
Term Name: subject
URI:http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/subject
Label:Subject
Definition:The topic of the resource.
Comment:Typically, the subject will be represented usingkeywords, key phrases, or classification codes.Recommended best practice is to use a controlledvocabulary.
Term Name: title
URI:http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/title
Label:Title
Definition:A name given to the resource.
Comment:Typically, a Title will be a name by whichthe resource is formally known.
Term Name: type
URI:http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/type
Label:Type
Definition:The nature or genre of the resource.
Comment:Recommended best practice is to use a controlledvocabulary such as the DCMI Type Vocabulary[DCMITYPE]. To describe the file format, physicalmedium, or dimensions of the resource, use theFormat element.
References:[DCMITYPE] http://dublincore.org/specifications/dublin-core/dcmi-type-vocabulary/


Errata:
2013-11-05. Updated reference to ANSI/NISO Standard Z39.85-2012 of February 2013 [NISOZ3985]
2019-05-08. Updated reference to ISO 15836:2009 [ISO15836]

FAQs

How many elements are in the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set? ›

Dublin Core is comprised of 15 “core” metadata elements; whereas the "qualified" Dublin Core set includes additional metadata elements to provide for greater specificity and granularity.

What is Qualified Dublin Core metadata? ›

Qualified Dublin Core, also known as DC Terms, is an extension of Simple Dublin Core through the use of additional elements, element refinements, and encoding schemes. Qualified Dublin Core is seen in widely differing implementations, often using locally-defined refinements and encoding schemes.

What are the 15 Dublin Core elements? ›

The 15 metadata elements used by Dublin Core are: title (the name given the resource), creator (the person or organization responsible for the content), subject (the topic covered), description (a textual outline of the content), publisher (those responsible for making the resource available), contributor (those who ...

What do you call the metadata element of Dublin Core which refers to a name given to the resource? ›

"The Dublin Core", also known as the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, is a set of fifteen "core" elements (properties) for describing resources. This fifteen-element Dublin Core was first standardized in 1998 as IETF RFC 2413, "Dublin Core Metadata for Resource Discovery", and subsequently published as ANSI/NISO Z39.

What are the types of metadata? ›

There are three main types of metadata: descriptive, administrative, and structural.

Why is Dublin Core useful? ›

The Dublin Core™ element set has been kept as small and simple as possible to allow a non-specialist to create simple descriptive records for information resources easily and inexpensively, while providing for effective retrieval of those resources in the networked environment.

What are some examples of metadata? ›

A simple example of metadata for a document might include a collection of information like the author, file size, the date the document was created, and keywords to describe the document. Metadata for a music file might include the artist's name, the album, and the year it was released.

What are the components of metadata? ›

Recommended Minimum Metadata Elements

Title/Name – Name given to the resource. Description – A description of the resource and its spatial, temporal or subject coverage. Format – File format, physical medium, dimensions of the resource, or hardware and software needed to access the data.

Is Dublin Core machine readable? ›

A DCMI recommendation is a human-readable document that may define one or more DCMI terms. A DCMI term is a DCMI element, a DCMI qualifier or term from a DCMI-maintained controlled vocabulary.

What is stored in metadata? ›

Metadata can be explained in a few ways: Data that provide information about other data. Metadata summarizes basic information about data, making finding & working with particular instances of data easier. Metadata can be created manually to be more accurate, or automatically and contain more basic information.

What is Dublin Core coverage? ›

Coverage. Definition. The spatial or temporal topic of the resource, spatial applicability of the resource, or jurisdiction under which the resource is relevant. Comment. Spatial topic and spatial applicability may be a named place or a location specified by its geographic coordinates.

What is schema metadata? ›

A metadata schema establishes and defines data elements and the rules governing the use of data elements to describe a resource. (

What is descriptive metadata? ›

Descriptive metadata provides information about the intellectual content of a digital object. The most important element of descriptive metadata is a resource identifier that uniquely identifies the object.

Who created Dublin Core? ›

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI), which formulates the Dublin Core, is a project of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), a non-profit organization. The core properties are part of a larger set of DCMI Metadata Terms.

What is meta in HTML head? ›

The <meta> tag defines metadata about an HTML document. Metadata is data (information) about data. <meta> tags always go inside the <head> element, and are typically used to specify character set, page description, keywords, author of the document, and viewport settings.

What are the 4 types of metadata? ›

Descriptive Metadata
  • Unique identifiers (such as an ISBN)
  • Physical attributes (such as file dimensions or Pantone colors)
  • Bibliographic attributes (such as the author or creator, title, and keywords)

What is metadata in simple words? ›

In simple terms, metadata is “data/information about data". Metadata helps us understand the structure, nature, and context of the data. Metadata facilitates easy search and retrieval of data. Metadata also helps keep a check on the quality and reliability of data.

What is Dublin Core coverage? ›

Coverage. Definition. The spatial or temporal topic of the resource, spatial applicability of the resource, or jurisdiction under which the resource is relevant. Comment. Spatial topic and spatial applicability may be a named place or a location specified by its geographic coordinates.

What is stored in metadata? ›

Metadata can be explained in a few ways: Data that provide information about other data. Metadata summarizes basic information about data, making finding & working with particular instances of data easier. Metadata can be created manually to be more accurate, or automatically and contain more basic information.

What is Dcmi type? ›

The DCMI Type Vocabulary provides a general, cross-domain list of approved terms that may be used as values for the Resource Type element to identify the genre of a resource.

What is the meaning of Dcmi? ›

DCMI may refer to: Double crossover merging interchange, a proposed type of diverging diamond road interchange. Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, the organization responsible for maintaining the Dublin Core metadata standard. Data Center Manageability Interface, a technical specification first published by Intel in 2008.

Is Dublin Core machine readable? ›

A DCMI recommendation is a human-readable document that may define one or more DCMI terms. A DCMI term is a DCMI element, a DCMI qualifier or term from a DCMI-maintained controlled vocabulary.

Who created Dublin Core? ›

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI), which formulates the Dublin Core, is a project of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), a non-profit organization. The core properties are part of a larger set of DCMI Metadata Terms.

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