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DCMI logo Announcements

DCMI joins as inaugural member of DLMA

2014-11-28, DCMI, along with IMS Global) and the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), announce the formation of the Digital Learning Metadata Alliance (DLMA). The DLMA will focus on coordination of adoption and development of existing metadata standards in support of digital learning and education. For more information about DLMA, visit http://dlma.org and read the IMS Global press release at http://www.imsglobal.org/pressreleases/IMSPR20141024.pdf.

DCMI invites public comment on draft LRMI in RDF

2014-11-28, DCMI invites public comment on a draft RDF specification for LRMI version 1.1. The draft RDF specification can be found at http://dublincore.org/dcx/lrmi-terms/drafts/2014-11-30/. The one month public comment period is from 1 December 2014 through 31 December 2014. The RDF specification is intended to embody the current Learning Resource Metadata Initiative version 1.1 term declarations at http://dublincore.org/dcx/lrmi-terms/.

Chair's Message logo

Eric Childress

Dear DCMI colleagues,

In the United States, November is a month where many parts of the country experience the first winds and snow of winter, and it is also the month during which Americans celebrate the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Many use the occasion of Thanksgiving to reflect on their blessings of family and more, so I think I will carry that thread into this month's Chair's Message as well.

DCMI logo Time, Treasure, and a Shared Vision

The DCMI traces its origins to an invitational meeting held in March 1995 in Dublin, Ohio, U.S.A. Dr. Stuart L. Weibel (or "Stu" as he is more commonly known) from the start took a key leadership role in the work, eventually being formally named as the first Executive Director. As Stu reminded us at every gathering, the collective devotion of "time and treasure" by all the parties that participated in the work—work that by no means had a guaranteed payoff for any or all of the participants; Dublin Core was after all very new and had few implementations at scale in the early years—arose from a position of collective trust. Participants had belief in each other on an individual basis, in the wisdom of the crowd, and a shared vision in, and conviction that, resources on the Web could be made far more useful and findable if descriptive data about resources were represented in a standardized, structured way.

This fundamental belief that standardized, structured data is critical to a healthy Web and to ease of discovery is now a widely shared, probably to the point that it is simply assumed. And the DCMI no doubt bears a measure of credit for promoting this fundamental idea in the metadata space (keep in mind that in the early days of the Web, there were alternative propositions including attempts to create human-editor-curated lists and directories.) And it is from this vantage that DCMI finds common touch points with many initiatives and organizations; and, I'm delighted this month to highlight three in particular with DCMI now has a much richer set of relationships—the new Digital Learning Metadata Alliance (DMLA), the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI), and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

DCMI logo Digital Learning Metadata Alliance (DLMA)

On November 24, 2014, DCMI, the IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS Global), and the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) announced the formation of the Digital Learning Metadata Alliance (DLMA). DLMA is a new cross-organization collaboration among a growing number of standards organizations leading the charge to coordinate metadata standards evolution. The mission of DLMA is "to coordinate metadata standards adoption and development in support of digital learning and education across the educational technology, publishing, web and library communities via existing metadata frameworks while encouraging innovation and the evolution to next generation metadata frameworks." As the education and training metadata ecosystem grows more diverse, unmet demands multiply to make practical sense of this diversity in support of rational implementation of systems. DCMI is pleased and looks forward to actively participating in this significant consortial activity and believe it holds promise in sense-making where metadata choices are numerous and the need for metadata interoperability and harmonization is great.

DCMI logo Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI)

In October 2014, the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) and Creative Commons (CC) transferred stewardship of the LRMI to the DCMI. This is logical transition for the LRMI. (And allow me to express thanks to DCMI Managing Director Stuart Sutton for his tireless and excellent work from DCMI's side of things to make this happen so smoothly).

AEP and CC were well-qualified to provide leadership for the initial development of the specification (with funding support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation), and the DCMI—carefully chosen by AEP and CC after considering several options—is delighted and honored to take on the role as a successor steward.

This also presents the LRMI/educational metadata community an opportunity to work more closely together under the auspices of the DCMI Education Community. DCMI looks forward to having significantly greater and richer contact with and participation by the education publishing and metadata sectors.

DCMI logo World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

DCMI and W3C have long had a rich set of relationships and engaged in overlapping and complementary activities, but until November 24, 2014, this was largely an informal and opportunistic type of connection. So it is a great pleasure to announce that DCMI has formally joined the W3C, courtesy of a generous donation by a long-term DCMI community member to underwrite DCMI's annual membership fee. DCMI is very grateful for this special support.

The initial point of more formal collaboration is the work between the DCMI RDF Application Profile Task Group and the W3C RDF Data Shapes Working Group which is charged to "Produce a language for defining structural constraints on RDF graphs and define graph topologies for interface specification, code development, and data verification." (Source: Charter). A presentation on this work was presented at the Dublin Core 2014 conference in Austin.

DCMI logo Looking forward

This year has been a very important year for DCMI, and I'll do a year in review in my December message. As always, DCMI's greatest strength is its community. For those who are involved, our sincere thanks. For those who would like to be involved, let us know. We'd be delighted to have you join.

And last, we wish a very happy Thanksgiving holiday to our U.S.A. readers.

Eric Childress
Chair, DCMI Governing Board


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DCMI logo The Dublin Core® Metadata Initiative

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, or "DCMI", is an open organization supporting innovation in metadata design and best practices across the metadata ecology. DCMI's activities include work on architecture and modeling, discussions and collaborative work in DCMI Communities and DCMI Task Groups, global conferences, meetings and workshops, and educational efforts to promote widespread acceptance of metadata standards and best practices.

DCMI maintains a number of formal and informal liaisons and relationships with standards bodies and other metadata organizations.


DCMI logo DCMI Technical Updates


DCMI logo Current DCMI Work Themes

DCMI has a set of "work themes" that focus the Initiative as a whole and change as the metadata ecosystem evolves. The themes address broad issues in metadata that cut across the more siloed interests of domain-specific Communities and Task Groups within the Initiative. These DCMI-supported work themes receive targeted attention and commitment of resources from DCMI as an organization.

Platform-independent Application Profiles

The DCMI Abstract Model (DCAM), published as a DCMI Recommendation in 2007, provides an abstract syntax for packaging Semantic-Web-compatible data in validatable record formats. DCAM was designed to bridge the modern paradigm of the unbounded Linked Data graph and the more familiar paradigm of the validatable metadata record, locally managed and constrained using a myriad of software platforms and implementation technologies. For five years, DCAM has inspired a wide range of deployment experiences, and the core RDF standards themselves continue to be extended. The activity "platform-independent application profiles" is re-evaluating the need and requirements for a common language to express metadata design patterns, both as templates for Linked-Data-compatible data formats and as reference points for creating and consuming coherent metadata within communities of discourse and practice.

Monitor & participate in this activity:


Mapping Diverse Vocabularies

While DCMI Metadata Terms and other core vocabularies increase the coherence of metadata by providing shared reference points, the unavoidable proliferation of diverse but overlapping vocabularies threatens to create metadata silos. A key part of the solution is to create machine-readable mappings. The activity "mapping diverse vocabularies" aims at mapping DCMI metadata terms to related terms in other vocabularies. In the absence of well-established practices for publishing and maintaining such mappings, this activity aspires to establish a workflow and publication practices that can be adopted by other vocabulary maintainers. The starting point for this activity is a mapping to the terms defined by the Schema.org initiative.

Monitor & participate in this activity:


Sustainable Vocabularies

As a foundation for applications, the value of any given vocabulary depends on the perceived certainty that the vocabulary—both its machine-readable schemas and human-readable specification documents—will remain reliably accessible over time and that its URIs will not be sold, re-purposed, or simply forgotten. In order to raise awareness of this issue, DCMI has formulated an agreement with the FOAF Project, which is owned by individuals, with contingency plans for transferring maintenance control in the short or long term should exigent circumstances require. This activity examines the issues around vocabulary sustainability and governance with the goal of formulating best practices and, ultimately, of ensuring that our vocabularies will be preserved by society's long-term memory institutions.

Monitor & participate in this activity:


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Last updated : 28 November 2014 | Next update: 10 December 2014

DCMI's work is supported, promoted and improved by Member organizations around the world:

  • The National Library of Finland
  • The National Library of Korea
  • The National Library Board Singapore
  • MIMOS Berhad
  • Infocom Corporation (Japan)
  • Simmons College (USA)
  • Information School of the University of Washington
  • Research Center for Knowledge Communities, Tsukuba University

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