Dublin Core Metadata Element Set

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The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set defines 15 metadata elements for resource description in a cross-disciplinary information environment.

The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set was approved as an ANSI/NISO standard in May 2007: NISO Standard Z39.85-2007 and published under ISSN: 1041-5635.

Dublin Core typically make use of XML and are Resource Description Framework based.


The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) is an organization providing an open forum for the development of interoperable online metadata standards that support a broad range of purposes and business models. DCMI's activities include consensus-driven working groups, global conferences and workshops, standards liaison, and educational efforts to promote widespread acceptance of metadata standards and practices.

Levels of the standard[edit]

The Dublin Core standard includes two levels: Simple and Qualified. Simple Dublin Core comprises fifteen elements; Qualified Dublin Core includes three additional elements (Audience, Provenance and RightsHolder), as well as a group of element refinements (also called qualifiers) that refine the semantics of the elements in ways that may be useful in resource discovery.

Simple Dublin Core[edit]

The Simple Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (DCMES) consists of 15 metadata elements:

  1. Title
  2. Creator
  3. Subject
  4. Description
  5. Publisher
  6. Contributor
  7. Date
  8. Type
  9. Format
  10. Identifier
  11. Source
  12. Language
  13. Relation
  14. Coverage
  15. Rights

Each Dublin Core element is optional and may be repeated. The DCMI has established standard ways to refine elements and encourage the use of encoding and vocabulary schemes. There is no prescribed order in Dublin Core for presenting or using the elements.

Full information on element definitions and term relationships can be found in the Dublin Core Metadata Registry [1].


Current developments and evaluations relating to DCMES should be reported here.

External Links[edit]