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Dublin Core Tutorial

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Dublin Core is an initiative to create a digital "library card catalog" for the Web. Dublin Core is made up of metadata elements (data that describes data) that offer expanded cataloging information and improved document indexing for search engine programs.

The most common metadata elements used by Dublin Core are:

The two most common forms of Dublin Core are Simple Dublin Core and Qualified Dublin Core. Simple Dublin Core expresses elements as attribute-value pairs using just the base metadata elements from the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set. Qualified Dublin Core increases the specificity of metadata by adding information about encoding schemes, enumerated lists of values, or other processing clues. While enabling searches to be more specific, qualifiers are also more complex and can pose challenges to interoperability.

In other words, Simple Dublin Core gives basic information. However, if more information is required, we use Qualified Dublin Core.

Metadata is not only used in HTML pages. It is also used in XML and RDF code as well as several other areas.

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative began in 1995, taking its name from the location of the original workshop, Dublin, Ohio. It has since become international in scope and has representatives from more than 20 countries now contributing. Dublin Core has always held that resource discovery should be independent from the medium of the resource. So, while Dublin Core targets electronic resources, it aims to be flexible enough to help in searches for more traditional formats of data too. Web sites, though, are the most common users of Dublin Core.

An example set of Dublin Core elements <head profile="http://dublincore.org">

<link rel="schema.DC" href="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" />
<link rel="schema.DCTERMS" href="http://purl.org/dc/terms/" />

<meta name="DC.Identifier" schema="DCterms:URI"
content="http://tutorialsonline.info/Common/DublinCore.html" />
<meta name="DC.Format" schema="DCterms:IMT" content="text/html" /> <meta name="DC.Title" xml:lang="EN" content="Dublin Core Tutorial" />
<meta name="DC.Creator" content="Alan Kelsey" />
<meta name="DC.Subject" xml:lang="EN" content="Dublin Core Meta Tags" />
<meta name="DC.Publisher" content="Alan Kelsey, Ltd." />
<meta name="DC.Publisher.Address" content="alan@tutorialsonline.info" />
<meta name="DC.Contributor" content="Alan Kelsey" />
<meta name="DC.Date" scheme="ISO8601" content="2007-01-06" />
<meta name="DC.Type" content="text/html" />
<meta name="DC.Description" xml:lang="EN"
content="Learning Advanced Web Design can be fun and easy! Look at a site designed specifically to help you learn how to design web pages with proper tags, styles, and scripting." />
<meta name="DC.Identifier" content="http://tutorialsonline.info/Common/DublinCore.html" />
<meta name="DC.Relation" content="TutorialOnline.info" scheme="IsPartOf" />
<meta name="DC.Coverage" content="Hennepin Technical College" />
<meta name="DC.Rights" content="Copyright 2011, Alan Kelsey, Ltd.  All rights reserved." />
<meta name="DC.Date.X-MetadataLastModified" scheme="ISO8601" content="2007-01-06" />
<meta name="DC.Language" scheme="dcterms:RFC1766" content="EN" />

You can use this Dublin Core "metadata editor" to generate at least a dozen meta tags for your homework assignments. You can have it read from an existing web page or follow the link to go directly to an input sheet to manually create Dublin Core meta tags in HTML, XHTML, XML and RDF formats.

Consult this page on the Dublin Core Initiative site for explanations of the various elements.

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