DCMI - Overview
The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) is an open organization, incorporated in Singapore as a public, not-for-profit Company limited by Guarantee (registration number 200823602C), engaged in the development of interoperable online metadata standards that support a broad range of purposes and business models. DCMI's activities include work on architecture and modelling, discussions and collaborative work in DCMI Communities and DCMI Task Groups, annual conferences and workshops, standards liaison, and educational efforts to promote widespread acceptance of metadata standards and practices.
DC Metadata Initiative logo
DCMI traces its roots to Chicago at the 2nd International World Wide Web Conference, October 1994. Yuri Rubinsky of SoftQuad (who chaired panels regarding the future of HTML and Web authoring tools) along with Stuart Weibel and Eric Miller of OCLC (who were presenting papers about scholarly publishing on the Web and leading discussions on the delivery of Web-based library services) had a hallway conversation with Terry Noreault, then Director of the OCLC Office of Research, and Joseph Hardin, then Director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). This discussion on semantics and the Web revolved around the difficulty of finding resources (difficult even then, with only about 500,000 addressable objects on the Web).
Their initial brainstorming lead to NCSA and OCLC holding a joint workshop to discuss metadata semantics in Dublin, Ohio, March 1995. At this event, called simply the "OCLC/NCSA Metadata Workshop", more than 50 people discussed how a core set of semantics for Web-based resources would be extremely useful for categorizing the Web for easier search and retrieval. They dubbed the result "Dublin Core metadata" based on the location of the workshop. Since that time conferences and workshops have been held in England, Australia, Finland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Italy, and the United States.
|Mission and Scope
The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative provides simple standards to facilitate the finding, sharing and management of information. It is dedicated to promoting the widespread adoption of interoperable metadata standards and developing specialized metadata vocabularies for describing resources that enable more intelligent information discovery systems.
DCMI does this by:
- Developing and maintaining international standards for describing resources
- Supporting a worldwide community of users and developers
- Promoting widespread use of Dublin Core solutions
The major characteristics of DCMI as an organization are (the three ‘I’s):
- Independent: DCMI is not controlled by specific commercial or other interests and is not biased towards specific domains nor does it mandate specific technical solutions
- International: DCMI encourages participation from organizations anywhere in the world, respecting linguistic and cultural differences
- Influenceable: DCMI is an open organization aiming at building consensus among the participating organizations; there are no prerequisites for participation
The development and maintenance of a core set of metadata terms (the DCMI Metadata Terms) continues to be one of the main activities of DCMI. In addition, DCMI is developing guidelines and procedures to help implementers define and describe their usage of Dublin Core metadata in the form of Application Profiles. This work is done in a work structure that provides discussion and cooperation platforms for specific communities (e.g. education, government information, corporate knowledge management) or specific interests (e.g. technical architecture, accessibility).
Anyone wishing to participate may do so by simply joining the appropriate mailing list for the activity of interest.
DCMI Members are national or regional organizations that represent stakeholder communities within their region. Members are established on a contractual basis and have rights and responsibilities as designated in a Membership Agreement executed between the Member and DCMI. The Member fee structure and levels are decided by the Board of Directors in consultation with the DCMI Oversight Committee, taking into account economic factors related to the locales covered by Members and the overall budget requirements of DCMI. Fee structure and levels will be regularly reviewed allowing for changes in economic circumstances and budget developments.
As part of its operation, DCMI holds an annual conference and workshop. In conjunction with the annual event, meetings of the DCMI Members, DCMI Oversight Committee, DCMI Usage Board and DCMI Advisory Board take place.
|There are three types of groups that constiture the work structure of DCMI:
- DCMI Architecture Forum
- DCMI Communities
- DCMI Task Groups
Participation in these groups is open to all DCMI participants with the interest, expertise, and time to contribute to the solution of problems.
|DCMI Architecture Forum
The objectives of the Architecture Forum are to discuss and develop a model, strategy and roadmap for the practical deployment of Dublin Core metadata using mainstream Web technologies.
DCMI Communities bring together people interested in a specific topic related to Dublin Core metadata or the use of Dublin Core in a particular domain. DCMI Communities are moderated by one or two moderators. They have a Web page on the DCMI Web site and a mailing list for discussion and exchange of information. Participation in a DCMI Community is open for anybody who subscribes to the open mailing list. Information on subscribing to the mailing list can be found on the Community's Web page.
The following DCMI Communities are currently active:
- DCMI Accessibility Community
- DCMI Collection Description Community
- DCMI Education Community
- DCMI Environment Community
- DCMI Government Community
- DCMI Identifiers Community
- DCMI Kernel Community
- DCMI Knowledge Management Community
- DCMI Libraries Community
- DCMI Localization and Internationalization Community
- DCMI Preservation Community
- DCMI Registry Community
- DCMI Scholarly Communications Community
- DCMI Science and Metadata Community
- DCMI Social Tagging Community
- DCMI Standards Community
- DCMI Tools Community
|DCMI Task Groups
DCMI Task Groups are established around a specific set of activities leading to a set of deliverables. Task groups are led by one or two Task Group leaders and consist of a group of people who commit to help perform the defined tasks. Task Groups may have a Web page, a Wiki and a mailing list. Anybody can ask for participation in a Task Group; the Task Group leaders are responsible for assigning tasks to the members.
The following DCMI Task Groups are currently active:
- DCMI Agents Task Group
- DCMI Collection Description Application Profile Task Group
- DCMI Education Application Profile Task Group
- DCMI Government Application Profile Task Group
- DCMI Kernel Task Group
- DCMI Libraries Application Profile Task Group
- Joint DCMI/IEEE LTSC Taskforce
- DCMI/RDA Task Group
- DCMI Registry Task Group
|The DCMI has published several recommendations as semantic or technical specifications that have been approved through DCMI's formal approval process. These specifications are stable and are supported for adoption by the Dublin Core community.
DCMI Metadata Terms -- a one-stop source of up-to-date information on DCMI metadata terms.
Ready-reference subsets of the full set of terms ("DCMI Metadata Terms"):
- Dublin Core Metadata Element Set
- DCMI Type Vocabulary
- Historical versioning information:
- DCMI Metadata Terms: A complete historical record
- DCMI Abstract Model.
- Expressing Dublin Core metadata using HTML/XHTML meta and link elements. See also: "Notes on DCMI specifications for Dublin Core metadata in HTML/XHTML meta and link elements".
- Expressing Dublin Core metadata using the Resource Description Framework (RDF). See also: "Notes on DCMI specifications for Dublin Core metadata in RDF".
- Guidelines for implementing Dublin Core in XML. In 2009, this 2003 DCMI Recommendation may be superseded by current work listed under Proposed Recommendations.
- Namespace Policy for the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI).
- Guidelines for Encoding Bibliographic Citation Information in Dublin Core Metadata.
- DCMI Box Encoding Scheme: Specification of the spatial limits of a place, and methods for encoding this in a text string.
- DCMI DCSV: A syntax for representing simple structured data in a text string.
- DCMI Period Encoding Scheme: Specification of the limits of a time interval, and methods for encoding this in a text string.
- DCMI Point Encoding Scheme: A point location in space, and methods for encoding this in a text string.
Proposed Recommendations are technical specifications that are in the process of being approved through DCMI's formal approval process. These specifications are close to stable and enjoy growing support for adoption by the Dublin Core community.
- Expressing Dublin Core Description Sets using XML (DC-DS-XML). Public Comment was held from 1 to 29 September 2008. A related document, Notes on 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.
|DCMI promotes the adoption of standardized approaches to metadata and the architectures which support the creation and exchange of interoperable metadata. As evidence of this, DCMI metadata has successfully pursued standardization in various national and international standards venues, including:
- The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
- The European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
- The National Information Standards Organization (NISO)
- The International Standards Organization (ISO)
|With the IETF
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is an open, international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet. The IETF affords a straight forward standardization path for Internet protocols; the Dublin Core Element Set, v.1.0 was first standardized in the IETF as RFC 2413.
|With the CEN
The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) is a consortium of European national standards organizations which supports the implementation of technical standards in Europe in conjunction with worldwide bodies and European partners.
|With the ISO
The ISO/IEC JTC1/SC36: Standards For Information Technology for Learning, Education, and Training and DCMI maintain a liaison to promote communication between these two activities.