DCMI Usage Board Review of Application Profiles

Creators: Tom Baker
Date Issued: 2003-02-11
Latest Version: https://dublincore.org/specifications/dublin-core/application-profile-review/
Release History: https://dublincore.org/specifications/dublin-core/application-profile-review/release_history/
Description: This document defines the term "Application Profile" in the context of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative.

"Application Profile" defined

For the purposes of DCMI Usage Board review, an Application Profile (AP) is a declaration of which metadata terms an organization, information resource, application, or user community uses in its metadata. Moreover:

  • By definition, an AP cannot "declare" new metadata terms and definitions; it only "reuses" terms from existing element sets [HEERY]1.

  • The ideal element set will use URIs to uniquely identify its terms within XML namespaces [DCMI-NAMESPACE]2. As of 2002, however, this cannot be required.

  • By definition, any new term coined for use in an AP must first be declared in a form citable in the AP.

  • An AP may also provide additional documentation on how the terms used are constrained, encoded, or interpreted for particular purposes.

As of 2002, APs are seen primarily as a form of documentation, the purpose of which is to help implementor communities harmonize their metadata practice. It is hoped that in the longer term, machine-processable versions of such APs based on data models such as RDF will provide a basis for automating metadata interoperability functions such as semantic crosswalks and format conversions.


  1. HEERY Rachel Heery and Manjula Patel, Application profiles: mixing and matching metadata schemas, Ariadne 25, September 2000. ↩︎

  2. DCMI-NAMESPACE Andy Powell, Harry Wagner, Stuart Weibel, Tom Baker, Tod Matola, Eric Miller, Namespace policy for the Dublin Core™ Metadata Initiative. ↩︎