CERN Accelerating science

This website is no longer maintained. Its content may be obsolete. Please visit for current CERN information.

CERN home page CERN home page The Consult page The Consult page This page The Consult page This page This page Help, Info about this page

Previous: Previous IT-Web-Servers: Towards Stability and Consistency (See printing version)
Next: Next Search Engine News

Dublin Core Metadata

  Dariusz Kogut IT/WO

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.

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 

Finding relevant information on the World Wide Web has become increasingly problematic due to the explosive growth of networked resources. The Dublin Core is a metadata element set intended to facilitate discovery of electronic resources.

See :   RFC 2413
          Dublin Core Metadata site


Element Descriptions

Following is the reference description of the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set. Note that element have a descriptive name intended to convey a common semantic understanding of the element. A formal single-word label (expressed in all upper case) is specified to make the syntactic specification of elements simpler for encoding schemes.

 The metadata elements fall into three groups which roughly indicate the class or scope of information stored in them:  


Intellectual Property 
   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 that the metadata is subsequently extracted or converted to a case-sensitive environment, such as XML (EXtensible Markup Language).

Each element is optional and repeatable.  Metadata elements may appear in any order. The ordering of multiple occurrences of the same element (e.g., Creator) may have a significance intended by the provider, but ordering is not guaranteed to be preserved in every system.



<meta name="DC.Subject" content="dublin core metadata element set">
<meta name="DC.Subject" content="networked object description">
<meta name="DC.Publisher" content="OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.">
<meta name="DC.Creator" content="Weibel, Stuart L.,">
<meta name="DC.Creator" content="Miller, Eric J.,">
<meta name="DC.Title" content="Dublin Core Element Set Reference Page">
<meta name="DC.Date" content="1996-05-28">
<meta name="DC.Form" scheme="IMT" content="text/html">
<meta name="DC.Language" scheme="ISO639" content="en">
<meta name="DC.Identifier" scheme="URL" content="">

For comments send e-mail to

For matters related to this article please contact the author.

Last Updated on December 14th, 1998 at 16:29:16
Copyright © CERN 1998 -- European Laboratory for Particle Physics