The DCMI Directorate is pleased to announce that a new version of "Using Dublin Core" is now available for public comment until May 15, 2001. Comments should be sent to DC-General Mailing list.
This document is intended to be an entry point for users of Dublin Core. For non-specialists, it will assist them in creating simple descriptive records for information resources (for example, electronic documents, JPEG images, video clips). Specialists may find the document a useful point of reference to the documentation of Dublin Core, as it changes and grows.
The guide shows in a non-technical fashion how Dublin Core metadata may be used by anyone to make their material more accessible. This guide discusses the layout and content of Dublin Core metadata elements, how to use them in composing a complete Dublin Core metadata record, as well as how to qualify elements to support use by a wide variety of communities.
Another important goal of this document is to promote "best practices" for describing resources using the Dublin Core element set. The Dublin Core community recognizes that consistency in creating metadata is an important key to achieving complete retrieval and intelligible display across disparate sources of descriptive records. Inconsistent metadata effectively hides desired records, resulting in uneven, unpredictable or incomplete search results.
The guide first introduces the concept of metadata in general and then highlights the scope of the Dublin Core as a simple yet effective element set for describing a wide range of networked resources. It then outlines the basic principles of the descriptive elements and introduces the core elements and the two classes of qualifiers (element refinements and encoding schemes) that can be used.
Linked to the guide, there are examples of generic usage of the core elements and encoding examples of the core elements and qualifiers in both HTML and RDF.
There is also an extensive glossary of terms related to the Dublin Core and a reference section with a large number of links to bibliographies, specifications, other guidelines and tools, and background reading material going back to 1995.