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DCMI Type Working Group

Guidance for Domains and Organizations Developing Vocabularies for Use with Dublin Core:


Dublin Core Metadata Initiative

28 November 2001

Editor: Ann Apps <>

Creator: Diane Hillmann

Status of this document:*Completed_ (Outline)

Description: This document will provide guidance to domains, organisations and projects who need to create type vocbaularies.

Comments and feedback should be sent to the working group mailing list, <>, the archives for which may be browsed at <> (NOTE, you must be a member of the WG to post messages to the WG) or, alternatively, send your feedback to the Editor of this Working Draft.

1. Background

"NISO Z39.19: Standard for Structure and Organization of Information Retrieval Thesauri," by Jessica L. Milstead (From: Proceedings of the Taxonomic Authority Files Workshop, Washington, DC, June 22-23, 1998)
Good basic discussion about standard thesauri, plus some links to available tools for creating and maintaining vocabularies.

2. Beginning steps

  • a) Define a scope and purpose for your vocabulary
  • b) Determine how many vocabularies you need
  • c) Determine whether and how to use hierarchies

3. Longer-range planning issues

  • a) Stability (site)
  • b) Maintenance organization
  • c) Creating definitions
  • d) Accessibility to others (schemas, registry)
  • e) Planning for change

Other issues

Other things which the document should cover:

  • A list of standard type encoding schemes, and guidance on how to encode types using these lists suitable for non-cataloguers to understand
  • The difference between dc:type and dc:format and what information to encode in each
  • Best practice guidance on choosing a type from DCMI Type Vocabulary as well as a domain-specific subtype