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Dublin Core Metadata Initiative - Status report March 2011

Makx Dekkers/2010-03-21

Latest news

Co-operation with the FOAF project

In February 2011, DCMI and the FOAF Project agreed in principle to tighten the alignment between DCMI Metadata Terms and the FOAF (Friend of a Friend) Vocabulary specifications. FOAF and DCMI Metadata terms are often used together in applications, and both are consistently listed among the top ten vocabularies Linked Data space.

The agreement between DCMI and the FOAF Project will include a commitment to share preservation and long-term maintenance responsibilities for FOAF's xmlns.com domain name. Finalization of the agreement will involve formulating a generic namespace policy, based on the DCMI Namespace Policy (but simpler), to which both organizations can subscribe. This policy will be developed in the new DCMI wiki and is intended to be a living document that could evolve if other vocabulary maintainers were to subscribe to its principles.

Concrete benefits from closer cooperation between FOAF and DCMI could include explicit alignments between the vocabularies, building on first-step formal declaration "dct:creator owl:equivalentProperty foaf:maker". The proliferation of similar properties and classes with overlapping, partially overlapping, or perhaps only apparently overlapping semantics is a general problem that threatens the potential interoperability gains from the Linked Data approach, and a push to declare explicit alignments could serve as a high-profile example of what needs to be done.

If the future of Linked Data vocabularies is to be secured such that their documentation — and the meaning of data that use them — are to remain accessible twenty years from now, vocabulary maintainers will need to consider longer-term issues and scenarios such as those addressed in this specific agreement. The agreement is intended in part to raise awareness of the importance of longer-term planning. With interest from vocabularies, this agreement could represent the first step towards a farther-reaching support network among vocabulary maintainers.

DCMI Executive Recruitment calls

As part of a recruitment exercise following the independent incorporation as a not-for-profit Company limited by Guarantee in Singapore in December 2008, DCMI issued a recruitment call on 7 February soliciting applications for a number of positions in the Executive Office. A second call is issued together with this Status Report on 21 March 2011 with a closing date of 3 April 2011.


Maintenance release of DCMI Terms Recommendation

In October 2010, a maintenance release of DCMI Metadata Terms was released. Changes include a formal range for dcterms:title, a new datatype dcterms:RFC5646, and a declaration that the property foaf:maker is equivalent to dcterms:creator.

Conference papers

At the start of the DC-2010 conference in Pittsburgh, the conference papers were published online.

Training resources

The slides from the Tutorials at DC-2010 were published in the week after the conference.

The slides from Joint NISO/DCMI Webinar "Metadata Harmonization: Making Standards Work Together", held on 16 March 2011 are made available together with this Status Report on 21 March 2011.

DCMI adopts Creative Commons Attribution licence

Since early March 2011, all documents published on the DCMI Web site are available for use and re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licence, unless indicated otherwise. Further instructions on how to make the attribution can be found in the DCMI Document Notice.

Activities of DCMI Communities and Task Groups

DCMI Accessibility Community

Report by Liddy Nevile

Despite the fact that the DCMI Accessibility Community has not been active for some time, the work has gone on. The AccessForAll work that uses metadata to determine the functional needs of a user and then to match them to resources that the user can access is forming an important part of a major new project — the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure. The metadata to be used will to be developed in DC-style by the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC 36 committee with whom the DCMI Accessibility Community has worked for many years.

DCMI Architecture Forum and DCMI Abstract Model Review Task Group

Report by Tom Baker

In 2010, the DCMI Abstract Model Review Task Group prepared a discussion paper, "A review of the DCMI Abstract Model with scenarios for its future" (authored by Tom Baker and Pete Johnston). The paper was discussed in a joint meeting with the W3C Library Linked Data Incubator Group at DC-2010 in October 2010 in Pittsburgh.

One concrete result of discussions has been a recognition that DCMI currently lacks the human resources (e.g., volunteer or paid editors) to sustain momentum on the production or refinement of technical specifications such as the Abstract Model and related syntax guidelines.

DCMI is currently in the process of setting up a MediaWiki, to which the Abstract Model discussion paper will be ported and where it can be re-formatted for readability and revised in light of the Pittsburgh meeting and discussion since. The question of what constitutes an application profile continues to arise, notably in discussions of the W3C Library Linked Data Incubator Group (LLD XG), and in the absence of obvious alternatives, the DCMI Abstract Model continues to be taken in some contexts as a reference point for work on application profiles.

If the DCMI Abstract Model provides a model of value, how and where might work on such a model be progressed? In order to complete the work of the Task Group, further input will be sought on the DC-Architecture list regarding the DCMI Abstract Model, and regarding other DCMI technical specifications that are not actively being developed, and on recommending priorities for future DCMI work on technical specifications generally, especially in light of relevant discussion in the W3C Library Linked Data Incubator Group.

DCMI Glossary Task Group and DCMI User Guide Task Group

Report by Tom Baker

The DCMI Glossary Task Group and User Guide Task Group effectively function as a single group — they held a joint meeting at DC-2010 in Pittsburgh and use the same mailing list, DC-Glossary, for discussion. It was decided in Pittsburgh that all Glossary and User Guide materials would be migrated to a new DCMI MediaWiki. A subsequent work plan envisioned that this work would be done by the end of February 2011, but delays in configuring the wiki have put this about one month behind schedule. Once the materials are in place, the links will be publicized for comment and for further contributions by interested participants.

DCMI Government Community

Report by Hans Overbeek

The DCMI Government Community did not discuss anything specific in this period. Recently, there have been a number informational mails at the DC-Government mailing list, reflecting the growing interest of the community regarding Open Data activities around the world.

Due to change of focus in his work, Palle Aagaard has decided to step down as co-chair of the DCMI Government Community. Hans Overbeek has put himself candidate for this function. He will act as interim co-chair until DC-2011. A DCMI Government Community workshop is being planned for DC-2011 where the Community can choose a new co-chair. Other candidates are welcome to subscribe.

DCMI Kernel Community and DCMI Kernel Task Group

Report by John Kunze

In October 2010. Kernel/ERC metadata became available in the deployment of two new curation services hosted by the California Digital Library: EZID (Easy Identifiers) and the Merritt curation repository service. These developments, which build on the open-source ANVL/ERC and Kernel metadata package released in May 2010, provide a mapping from ERC/ANVL to RDF, which is required for conforming to the Semantic Web conventions and the DCMI Abstract Model. A final draft of the kernel specification is being prepared by the Kernel Application Profile task group.

DCMI Libraries Community

Report by Stefanie Rühle

The DCMI Libraries Community organized a meeting at DC-2010 and published a report of the meeting.

Beyond that meeting we still support the DCMI Libraries Application Profile Task Group as it revises the DCMI Libraries Application Profile and discuss the issues concerning the usage of terms, especially some of the RDA vocabulary in cooperation with the DCMI/RDA Task Group.

In this year we are planning to consider the following issues:

DCMI Libraries Application Profile Task Group

Report by Stefanie Rühle

The Task Group organized a workshop at DC-2010 where the current draft of the Dublin Core Libraries Application Profile was reviewed and discussed.

In November 2010, the results of this workshop were entered into a revised draft.

In this context two new terms were proposed:

Next steps:

Timeline: The new version of the application profile will be published in August/September 2011.

DCMI/NKOS Task Group

Report by Marcia Zeng

The DCMI/NKOS Task Group's goal is to establish an application profile for the KOS (Knowledge Organization Systems) Resources based on the work already done by the NKOS members throughout the last decade. Components of the application profile were discussed at the DCMI/NKOS Task Group workshop during the DC-2010 conference. Task Group members who attended the workshop are Diane Vizine-Goetz, Marjorie Hlava, Doug Tudhope, Traugott Koch, Ahsan Morshed, Maja Zumer, Gail Hodge, and Marcia Zeng. Functional Requirements, Domain Model, and KOS Type Vocabulary have been the three major focuses since the workshop. Major progress was achieved during the DC-2010 conference, yet a great volume of work needs to be done before an application profile can be fully developed.

Preliminary outcomes can be summarized into the following and are shared at the wiki site of the meeting.

  1. KOS registries, such as terminology registries and service registries, are identified as the major use cases. Other usages of this application profile could include vocabulary use by both machines and humans, and retrieval systems.
  2. As for the functional requirements, the Task Group has considered that the application profile will be developed based on the characteristics of individual KOS instances as well as the interactions between/among KOS instances, such as versioning, modularization, use and reuse, cross-referencing, and multiple-representation. Marjorie Hlava has prepared a strawman based on a comprehensive research of existing registries. Although the registries exhibit very different properties, she was still able to identify and categorize many common, required properties found in five major groups: General information, Scope and usage, Vocabulary characteristics, Terms and conditions, and Provider.
  3. The task group decided to follow the approach taken by the Scholarly Works Application Profile (SWAP) which built a domain based on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR). Because any KOS instance is always in the process of updating, each KOS instance would usually have multiple versions. This is a very significant characteristic that differentiates KOS from other kinds of resources. In the workshop, Maja Zumer discussed the situation of KOS instances that have multiple versions and translations of different versions. She also presented a proposal of using a generalized FRBR model for application profiles. The domain model will need to be tailored to meet the functional requirements for the description of KOS Resources, especially to adjust (add, revise, or eliminate) specific relationships.
  4. The previous KOS Taxonomy developed by the NKOS group and the KOS Typology developed by Doug Tudhope seem to complement each other. Together, they provide options for typing/categorizing a KOS instance in a registry (or other use cases) based on the characteristics or structure/functions. Some of these characteristics are also important properties in describing a KOS instance.
  5. The Task Group plans to revisit the KOS metadata terms developed previously by NKOS group members, particularly the 2001 version developed by Diane Vizine-Goetz of OCLC that was based on the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (DCMES). There is a possibility that the DCMI/NKOS team will map them with the identified functional requirements and domain model (e.g., what elements are for work, manifestation, expression, and item), re-map with the current DCMI Metadata Terms (instead of DCMES), which will finally lead to the development of the description set profile.

A detailed report about these outcomes as well as their background and relationships with existing work done by the NKOS members was submitted to the special issue of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) edited by Jane Greenberg. This is expected to be published in the second quarter of 2011.

DCMI Metadata Provenance Task Group

Report by Kai Eckert and Michael Panzer

The DCMI Metadata Provenance task group created a draft version of a domain model that is compliant with the DCMI Abstract Model for the representation of Metadata provenance. It extends the DCMI Abstract Model and reuses parts of the DCMI Metadata Terms vocabulary. Currently, the group works on the proper documentation of the model and an evaluation of the model on the basis of several use cases and cross-walks from other provenance models and vocabularies.

The work plan for the next months includes the finalization of the domain model, together with an appropriate documentation and additional examples and crosswalks. Finally, an application profile will be created that introduces the DC-PROVENANCE model to the DCMI community.

We plan to finalize the work until DC-201 in The Hague and would like to give a presentation as well organize a workshop for interested community members for final comments.

After the conference, we want to incorporate the gathered feedback and plan to close the task group in November 2011.

DCMI/RDA Task Group

Report by Diane Hillmann

RDA Group 1 Hierarchies completed, Feb. 2011. This was the last remaining portion of the basic work on the Group 1 portion of the vocabularies, and had been promised for completion prior to beginning the review by the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC). Also as part of this push, errors identified by specific groups and forwarded to the Task Group were corrected.

Discussions with JSC regarding review of the vocabularies. This has been ongoing, including e-mail discussions and face-to-face meetings at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting and other venues. John Attig, of the ALA Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (the U.S. group involved with RDA development — Diane is liaison to that group from DCMI), has begun reviewing the vocabularies on behalf of JSC and has been compiling an issues document.

Gordon is now meeting the representative of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals to JSC on a regular basis, to discuss the work of the Task Group. A JSC meeting planned for May 2011 in Glasgow has been postponed until later in the year, but it will be an opportunity to meet the whole of JSC face-to-face to discuss Task Group issues.

The archived video stream of Diane's keynote address to Code4Lib has resulted in renewed interest in RDA; discussions are ongoing about implementation meetings later this summer. After her keynote (which prompted the technologists present to look at the vocabularies), there were a number of hallway discussions that should lead to useful implementations in the more forward-looking areas of the library community.

Gordon discussed a number of issues arising from the development of an RDF representation of the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD), its relationship with classes and properties in the RDA namespace, its use of a Dublin Core Application Profile, and its relationship with DC terms, in a paper "ISBD and the Semantic Web" published in JLIS.it: Italian journal of library and information science.

Gordon has recently been working on translations of English RDF labels, definitions, and scope notes with colleagues from Spain and Croatia. A number of issues have been identified which are applicable to translations of the RDA elements, which will be raised with the Task Group.

DCMI Registry Community and DCMI Registry Task Group

Report by Corey Harper

The DCMI Registry Community and DCMI Registry Task Group continue to engage the broader community primarily through the activities of individual members.

Following DC-2010 in Pittsburgh, the Task Group published and distributed its work plan for the coming year. Initial discussions on the first two items are underway as of March 2011.

On December 8, 2010, a symposium on Linked Data and the Semantic web took place in Tokyo, Japan. Mitsuharu Nagamori and Corey Harper gave presentations addressing Metadata Registries and registry services.

UKOLN has begun a new project, OARR, scoping technical and business requirements for an Open Access Repository Registry. We hope to involve (and report back to) the Registry Community, notably on the following issues: long-term sustainability of registries, and accessibility/usability issues (including machine-to-machine level access).

The DCMI Registry Community is considering topics for a possible DCMI Registry workshop at DC-2011, and invite contributions and suggestions. We are also excited to be involved in co-ordination of additional DC-2011 events related to vocabulary alignment and interoperability efforts.

DCMI Scholarly Communications Community

Report by Rosemary Russell

The Scholarly Communications Community continues to be used as a dissemination channel through the DC-Scholar mailing list.

DCMI Science and Metadata Community

Report by Jane Greenberg and Jian Qin

The DCMI Science and Metadata Community community proposed a workshop for TPDL 2011 conference to be held in Berlin, 26-28 September 2011, entitled "A DC-SAM Workshop: Research and Best Practices in Linking Scientific Data," which was co-organized by Jian Qin, Jane Greenberg, and Norman Gray. The co-organizers have been notified the acceptance of their workshop proposal for TPDL 2011. The DC-SAM workshop organizers will distribute in early April a call for work-in-progress reports and a solicitation for invited speakers from both the information scientists and disciplinary scientists.

We have contacted Joan Starr from DataCite and are in the process of setting up a conference call to learn more from DataCite.

Our plan for the next six month will include:

  1. Prepare for the workshop call for work-in-progress reports and soliciting invited speakers. The workshop aims at building a broader platform for communication between the metadata, technology, and science communities. We hope the invited speakers and the work-in-progress reports will bring audience from science, technology, and library communities to address the metadata challenges in managing and curating science data.
  2. Establish conversation with DataCite. Once we learned more about DataCite via the conference call (Jian has joined their Google Discussion Group) and discussion, we plan to formulate a few discussion points for the DCMI Science and Metadata Community. The possible discussion points include interoperability of DataCite with Dublin Core metadata, the role and extensibility of Dublin Core in the various dimensions of science metadata (e.g., citation, publishing, linking between publications and data). This discussion should be continuous from April until early September 2011.

DCMI Tools Community

Report by Seth van Hooland

The DCMI Tools Community continued to maintain the list of Tools and Software. The set of tutorials that are currently planned for DC-2011 will have a specific focus on tools which can help to leverage the use and maintenance of existing metadata through semantic web technologies.

Organization and management

DCMI Membership Program

On 1 January 2011, MIMOS Berhad of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia joined the DCMI Membership Program. MIMOS Berhad (Malaysian Institute Of Microelectronic Systems) is a strategic agency under purview of the Malaysian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).

The National Library of Finland, the organization that was the first Affiliate of DCMI in 2003 has decided to extend its membership for another three years starting 1 May 2011.

DCMI Partnership Program

The DCMI Partnership Program remains open for all companies and organizations that want to support DCMI financially to continue its work to the benefit of the global audience.

Updates in DCMI Work structure

After DC-2010, the following groups were deactivated: DCMI Collection Description Community, DCMI Collection Description Application Profile Task Group, DCMI Environment Community, DCMI Identifiers Community, DCMI Standards Community. The mailing lists of these groups will remain available for historical purposes. Any messages related to the topics of these groups can be sent to the DC-General mailing list.

DCMI Oversight Committee

The DCMI Oversight Committee met in Pittsburgh on 19 October 2010. The first part of the meeting was the formal Annual General Meeting as required by the Singapore Companies Act where the Members of DCMI formally agreed the annual accounts. Following that, the Committee discussed administrative, financial and strategic issues related to the budget and activities in the financial year 2010-2011 and beyond.

Dickson Lukose, Head of the Knowledge Technology Research and Development Cluster was appointed as representative of the new member MIMOS Berhad of Malaysia.

DCMI Advisory Board

In the last period, three new members have been appointed on the DCMI Advisory Board: Corey Harper of New York University Libraries (co-moderator of the DCMI Registry Community), Jian Qin of the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University and Alex Ball of UKOLN (co-moderators of the DCMI Science and Metadata Community).

DCMI Usage Board

Report by Tom Baker

Apart from the occasional issue arising on the mailing list, the DCMI Usage Board does not currently have anything specific on its agenda. Rather, it is felt that the model by which the Usage Board has maintained DCMI's vocabularies and reviewed application profiles over the past ten years is due for a fundamental evaluation.

The cooperation between DCMI and the FOAF Project is a first step towards improved networking and alignment activities among vocabulary maintenance organizations. With the proliferation of important new vocabularies in the Linked Data space, now is a good time to learn from the experience of other vocabularies and consider adjusting DCMI's own maintenance model.

Developments to consider include the use of wiki-like or "registry" environments for vocabulary development, the use of software platforms such as Github or Drupal, the assignment of differentiated status to individual terms (e.g., "experimental", "stable", "archaic"), and the publication of vocabularies with RDF expressions embedded in their Web pages using RDFa. Ideally, vocabulary maintainers should maximize their scarce resources by sharing expertise and software, and collaborate on the formulation of best-practice guidelines for the benefit of vocabulary maintainers generally.

The chair of the Usage Board proposes to prepare an ad-hoc meeting on these questions for DC-2011 in September 2011.

The DCMI Conferences and other events

DC-2010, Pittsburgh, USA, 20-22 October 2010

Over 150 people from 23 countries attended DC-2010 in Pittsburgh from 20-22 October 2010. The Tutorials that were given on 20 October 2010 can be downloaded from the Training resources page. The opening presentation, the keynotes by Stu Weibel and Mike Bergman, and the closing presentation are also available for download. The conference proceedings are online in the DCMI Conference Paper Repository.

DC-2011 at the National Library of the Netherlands, The Hague, 21-23 September 2011

DC-2011, the eleventh International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications, will take place at the National Library of the Netherlands in The Hague from 21 through 23 September 2011. The National Library of the Netherlands (KB) fosters the national infrastructure for scientific information and plays an important role in the permanent access to digital information at an international level. The KB has been involved in many international research projects in the field of digital libraries and hosts the offices of The European Library and Europeana. The European Library Office is coordinating the local organization of DC-2011.

The Call for Papers for DC-2011 was published on 17 January 2011. The call solicits submissions for Full Papers; Project Reports; Posters; and Special Sessions and DCMI Community Workshop Sessions. Deadline for submissions is 16 April 2011.


Over the last six months (September 2010 through February 2011) we have seen an increase of around 5% in visits to the Web site (now 39,000 per month) compared to the same period a year ago. The number of unique visitors per month has remained at a stable average of around 27,000 with around 91,000 pageviews per month.

The most accessed documents on the DCMI Web site are: the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, version 1.1, the DCMI Metadata Terms, the Metadata Basics overview page, the Specifications overview page, and Using Dublin Core.

The DublinCore Twitter account had 2,137 followers on 20 March 2011 which is a 46% increase since the September 2010 report.

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