Dublin Core Metadata for Resource Discovery
RFC 2413

Document Type RFC - Informational (September 1998; No errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 5013
Was draft-kunze-dc (individual)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                           S. Weibel
Request for Comments: 2413      OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
Category: Informational                                          J. Kunze
                                  University of California, San Francisco
                                                                C. Lagoze
                                                       Cornell University
                                                                  M. Wolf
                                                          Reuters Limited
                                                           September 1998

              Dublin Core Metadata for Resource Discovery

1. Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998).  All Rights Reserved.

2. Abstract

   The Dublin Core Metadata Workshop Series began in 1995 with an
   invitational workshop which brought together librarians, digital
   library researchers, content experts, and text-markup experts to
   promote better discovery standards for electronic resources.  The
   Dublin Core is a 15-element set of descriptors that has emerged from
   this effort in interdisciplinary and international consensus
   building.  This is the first of a set of Informational RFCs
   describing the Dublin Core.  Its purpose is to introduce the Dublin
   Core and to describe the consensus reached on the semantics of each
   of the 15 elements.

3. Introduction

   Finding relevant information on the World Wide Web has become
   increasingly problematic due to the explosive growth of networked
   resources.  Current Web indexing evolved rapidly to fill the demand
   for resource discovery tools, but that indexing, while useful, is a
   poor substitute for richer varieties of resource description.

   An invitational workshop held in March of 1995 brought together
   librarians, digital library researchers, and text-markup specialists
   to address the problem of resource discovery for networked resources.

Weibel, et. al.              Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 2413      Dublin Core Metadata for Resource Discovery September 1998

   This activity evolved into a series of related workshops and
   ancillary activities that have become known collectively as the
   Dublin Core Metadata Workshop Series.

   The goals that motivate the Dublin Core effort are:

       - Simplicity of creation and maintenance
       - Commonly understood semantics
       - Conformance to existing and emerging standards
       - International scope and applicability
       - Extensibility
       - Interoperability among collections and indexing systems

   These requirements work at cross purposes to some degree, but all are
   desirable goals.  Much of the effort of the Workshop Series has been
   directed at minimizing the tensions among these goals.

   One of the primary deliverables of this effort is a set of elements
   that are judged by the collective participants of these workshops to
   be the core elements for cross-disciplinary resource discovery.  The
   term "Dublin Core" applies to this core of descriptive elements.

   Early experience with Dublin Core deployment has made clear the need
   to support qualification of elements for some applications.  Thus, a
   Dublin Core element may be expressed without qualification (as
   described in this RFC) or with qualifiers that refine its semantics
   (the subject of future RFCs).  For the sake of interoperability,
   simple indexing and discovery tools should be able to ignore any
   qualifiers provided, while more advanced, semantically richer tools
   should be able to use qualifiers to support more specialized or
   precise discovery.

   The broad agreements about syntax and semantics that have emerged
   from the workshop series will be expressed in a series of
   Informational RFCs, of which this document is the first.

4. Description of Dublin Core Elements

   The following is the reference definition of the Dublin Core Metadata
   Element Set.  Further information about the Dublin Core Metadata
   Element Set is available at [1]:

       http://purl.org/metadata/dublin_core

   In the element descriptions below, each element has a descriptive
   name intended to convey a common semantic understanding of the
   element, as well as a formal single-word label intended to make the
   syntactic specification of elements simpler for encoding schemes.

Weibel, et. al.              Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 2413      Dublin Core Metadata for Resource Discovery September 1998

   Although some environments, such as HTML, are not case-sensitive, it
   is recommended best practice always to adhere to the case conventions
   in the element labels given below to avoid conflicts in the event
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