innovation in metadata design, implementation & best practices

Title: Use of metadata at - a proposal
Date: 2004-03-10
Author: Tom Baker

The DCMI Web site currently has metadata records for more
than 700 individual items -- many of which are long-obsolete
working drafts. As a result, users searching the DCMI site are
presented with many irrelevant hits, and the genuinely useful
resources are hard to find. Moreover, the DCMI Web site is 
not well integrated into the OAI world. I propose we remedy
this situation by doing the following:

1) We create a list 50 to 100 "key" resources for which DCMI
   can commit to maintaining excellent metadata (see Appendix
   A below). DCMI would keep the short-list up-to-date and use
   it for periodically checking the freshness of metadata.
   The records for these 50 to 100 key resources would
   have good and exhaustive keywords, accurate dates, and
   abstract-length descriptions.

2) We delete the metadata for all other resources (or at any
   rate rename the *.rdf metadata files so they will not be 
   captured in the search index).

3) It would seem that Web sites (like DCMI's) with small
   numbers of documents to expose can now do this as an "OAI
   Static Repository" (see Appendix B below) -- perhaps by
   converting the RDF metadata into the XML schema "oai_dc",
   concatenating the schemas in one big XML file, and making
   that file available to OAI Static Repository harvesters.

4) If we get this far and the approach works well, we should
   not neglect to describe this method in a small document
   to be posted on the DCMI Web site.

APPENDIX A: Best candidates for metadata
------------------------------------------------------------------------ - doesn't exist yet -- no metadata yet -- no metadata yet -- separate metadata?? -- separate metadata?? - address does not exist yet

APPENDIX B: Support for OAI Static Repositories

According to,
the OAI protocol now provides: 

    a simple approach for exposing relatively static and
    small collections of metadata records through the OAI-PMH.
    The Static Repository approach is targeted at organizations

    -- Have metadata collections ranging in size between 1
       and 5000 records;
    -- Can make static content available through a
       network-accessible Web server;
    -- Need a technically simpler implementation strategy
       compared to acting as an OAI-PMH Repository, which
       requires processing OAI-PMH requests.

    A Static Repository is an XML file that is made accessible
    at a persistent URL. The XML file contains metadata
    records and repository information.

    A Static Repository becomes accessible via OAI-PMH through
    the intermediation of one Static Repository Gateway.
    A Static Repository Gateway uses the metadata records and
    repository information, provided via XML in the Static
    Repository, to process the six OAI-PMH requests for access
    to that information.