An application profile defines metadata for a specific application. It describes, explains, and defines rules for how existing vocabularies and models should be used in a metadata instance.

Profiles are often created as texts that are intended for a human audience. These texts generally employ tables to list the elements of the profile and related rules for metadata creation and validation. Such a document is particularly useful in helping a community reach agreement on its needs and desired solutions. To be usable for a specific function these decisions then need to be translated to computer code, which may not be a straightforward task.

Dublin Core Tabular Application Profiles (DCTAP)

DCTAP is a model developed by the Dublin Core Application Profiles Working Group. The goal of the DCTAP work is to provide a simple model that anyone can use to define their application profle. In keeping with the "core" philosophy of Dublin Core, this model does not attempt to cover every possible need but can be extended. The DCTAP uses a table format and only 12 primary elements, most of which are optional. The table requires no specific technical knowledge beyond the understanding of the metadata use case. It is intended to be eventually saved in a machine-actionable CSV (comma separated values) file which can then be input to application programs.

Documents in this project

Implementing DCTAP

Starter files

There are three files on the working group's github site that you can use to begin your DCTAP. They each contain all of the columns of a DCTAP, but you can delete columns that you do not need.

Processing programs

These programs process the contents of the DCTAP directly and prepare the data for further use.

These programs (in progress) make use of the elements of a DCTAP.


Background work