Friday, November 25, 2005

Qualified Dublin Core

At a meeting this fall, a colleague implored that we not just talk about (and recommend) Dublin Core, but that we specifically get people to use Qualified Dublin Core. The Dublin Core web site says:

"Qualified Dublin Core"Â’ employs additional qualifiers to further refine the meaning of a resource. One use for such qualifiers are to indicate if a metadata value is a compound or structured value, rather than just a string.

Qualifiers allow applications to increase the specificity or precision of the metadata. They may also introduce complexity that could impair the metadata's compatibility with other Dublin Core software applications. With this in mind, designers should only select from the set of approved Dublin Core qualifiers that were developed by the Dublin Core community process.

Unfortunately, qualifiers often introduce additional complexity that can make metadata less interoperable unless approved DC Qualifiers developed within the DCMI are used with such interoperability considerations in mind.

The other version of Dublin Core is referred to as Simple Dublin Core or sometimes Unqualifed or Basic Dublin Core. If you are not familiar with Simple and Qualified Dublin Core, go to the web site and read more about it, and then talk to your colleagues about the pros and cons. Hopefully the benefits of using Qualified Dublin Core will outweigh any negatives.

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