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Metadata Creation

Brief guide that explores the topic of metadata: What are metadata? What kinds of metadata are there? What is the process of creating metadata?


The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set is one of the simplest and most widely used metadata schema. Originally developed to describe web resources, Dublin Core has been used to describe a variety of physical and digital resources.

Dublin Core is comprised of 15 “core” metadata elements; whereas the "qualified" Dublin Core set includes additional metadata elements to provide for greater specificity and granularity.

Built into the Dublin Core standard are definitions of each metadata element – like native content standard – that state what kinds of information should be recorded where and how.  Associated with many of the data elements are data value standards such as the DCMI Type Vocabulary and ISO 639 language codes, etc. More information can be found on the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative website.

Dublin Core Metadata Element Set

Dublin Core Element Use Possible Data Value Standards
Title A name given to the resource.  
Subject The topic of the resource. Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
Description An account of the resource.  
Creator An entity primarily responsible for making the resource. Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF)
Publisher An entity responsible for making the resource available.  
Contributor An entity responsible for making contributions to the resource. Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF)
Date A point or period of time associated with an event in the lifecycle of the resource. W3CDTF
Type The nature or genre of the resource. DCMI Type Vocabulary
Format The file format, physical medium, or dimensions of the resource. Internet Media Types (MIME)
Identifier An unambiguous reference to the resource within a given context.  
Source A related resource from which the described resource is derived.  
Language A language of the resource. ISO 639
Relation A related resource.  
Coverage The spatial or temporal topic of the resource, the spatial applicability of the resource, or the jurisdiction under which the resource is relevant. Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN)
Rights Information about rights held in and over the resource.