DublinCore develops recommendations for semantic definitions of metadata terms, as well as recommendations for implementation and usage of those terms.

The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, version 1.1 (core elements) is [WWW]ISO Standard 15836-2003 (February 2003, PDF).

Quick reference to the [WWW]original fifteen Dublin Core Elements (<-- this is the one to read to get a feel for DublinCore).

The definitions:

Each definition includes clarifying comments, please read the clarifying comments that accompany the definitions in the quick reference above.

In addition to the above original terms, DublinCore also defines [WWW]some additional terms and several refinements. In several cases, refinements offer specific terms for the "typical" uses noted in the comments of definitions. See also RefinementPattern.

EchoInDublinCore, DublinCoreEntryStrawman

Pages discussing specific DublinCore elements:

Dublin Core and Atom

How can DublinCore help in the development of Atom?

First, it has to be recognized that DublinCore is a set of "layered" specification and we get to choose which layers we use.

At the most conceptual layer, DublinCore provides definitions for fifteen concepts used to describe things (date, format, title, etc.). It is these fifteen definitions that have been standardized by ISO. Although the definitions have labels or names to refer to them, those names are not proscriptive -- no one says you have to use those labels in your own formats or recommendations. In addition to the fifteen core definitions, several additions and refinements are also defined, but not (yet?) standardized by the ISO. The intent is for interoperability and data exchange. They are intended to be used by reference and in documentation, "our ferzbaz date is a Dublin Core creation date".

The next layer is using the terms and qualifiers within one's own model and specifications. The recommendation here is to use the DublinCore terms literally, where they are applicable, and deriving from DublinCore terms when creating new terms, again, where they are applicable.

At the bottom layer of the DublinCore effort are guidelines for the use, or encoding, of DublinCore within existing formats, such as HTML, XML, and RDF.

Specification of Atom, therefore, can use the definitions provided by DublinCore in describing Atom attributes, possibly use the literal terms used by DublinCore in the model (DublinCoreEntryStrawman), or adopt the guidelines for using DublinCore in the syntax of the proposed format.

Dublin Core Myths

Dublin Core is RDF

DublinCore is 1) a set of ISO standard definitions, 2) a set of terms defined thereby, and 3) guidelines for the use of those terms in HTML, XML, and RDF. RDF is not a driving factor of DublinCore.

If we use DublinCore, people can put anything into the values

No, the content model of a serialization of Atom is defined and validated by our schemas.

Using DublinCore takes away our control

No, it's the other way around. We are in complete control of the Atom model and its serialization. We use DublinCore to the degree and level where it benefits us.

The RDF and metadata people like Dublin Core

That's true.

Why ''not'' use Dublin Core?

[KenMacLeod] What reasons do people have for not wanting to use DublinCore definitions and/or terms?

[HenriSivonen RefactorOK] DC date is rather ambiguous and useless as without information about the related event. It looks more like a data type than a meta data field.

see also:

CategoryArchitecture, CategoryMetadata, CategoryModel