innovation in metadata design, implementation & best practice

About DCMI

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, or "DCMI", is an organization supporting innovation in metadata design and best practices across the metadata ecology. DCMI works openly, and it supported by a paid-membership model.

DCMI's activities include:


Mission and Principles

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) supports shared innovation in metadata design and best practices across a broad range of purposes and business models.

DCMI does this by:

DCMI's principles of operation are:

  • Open consensus building: Participation in the DCMI community is open to all interested groups or individuals with expertise or interests in metadata. DCMI de facto standards, specifications and best practice documents reflect consensus arrived at through consultative debate and review. No fees are assessed for use of such information, inasmuch as the value of such materials is enhanced by their wide adoption.

  • International scope and participation: DCMI arose in the 1990s from an informal workshop series that attracted participation of a world-wide community. DCMI has been committed from the start to global participation, as exemplified by a wide array of translations, the location of Dublin Core conferences, and the diversity of regional representation among the DCMI Members.

  • Neutrality of purposes and business models: DCMI is neutral as to the purposes for which DCMI de facto metadata standards and specifications might be used. DCMI encourages the adoption of these standards and specifications in the public and private sectors and in further de jure standardization that does not jeopardize open access.

  • Neutrality of technology: DCMI de facto standards are fundamentally concerned with semantics—the meaning of assertions about information resources. The technological infrastructure underpinning the encoding and expression of these semantics is expected to evolve with time. DCMI attempts to maintain independence of agreed-upon semantics, and to facilitate the expression of these semantics in encoding idioms appropriate to the active stakeholders of the initiative.

  • Cross disciplinary focus: Since its early days in the mid-1990s, DCMI's founding principle has been the discovery and management of resources through metadata across the boundaries of information silos on the Web and within intranets.

Web site, policies, software, logo, banner

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Web Site (this site) is the major public entry point and formal repository for DCMI documentation, including current and past activities and meetings.

DCMI seeks to attract the individuals and organizations worldwide interested in collaborating on metadata standards as well as the design and development of enabling metadata technologies. To this end, the DCMI has established the following policies.

The DCMI logo consists of a central sphere, representing the core of the Initiative. The inner surrounding spheres represent the original 15 core data elements available in the DCMI Metadata Element Set (ISO standard 15836). The outer spheres represent an interpreted and extended element set.