Metadata exchange standards

Metadata exchange standards are either Application Profiles or Metadata schemes which, over time, have become accepted in their respective fields of study as the standard means to describe their resources.

Dublin Core

Dublin Core is arguably the most widely used metadata format which can be used to represent metadata about any kind of Document. Semanticweb.org lists the 15 core Dublin Core qualifiers and also the ther elements and element refinements.

DDI - "Data Documentation Initiative"

DDI is an example of a format which was originally created to cope with the needs of a specific community. In this case, the format was created to meet the needs of the social science research community.

The DDI website lists the main benefits of using DDI benefits), for data producers, data archivists and data users. These include:

  1. Interoperability - Because DDI uses XML as its representation format, data files in this format can be automatically processed and seamlessly transported. Applications can be written to work with these homogeneous documents.
  2. Richer Content - Since it is designed from the ground up to encompass the needs of social sciences research, it provides a more specific data model, tailored to the needs of this domain. This provides potential data analysts with broader knowledge about a given collection
  3. Single document - multiple purposes - DDI documents can be converted to different end-user formats, such as SAS, SPSS or Stata, making document reuse easier.
  4. On-line data sub-setting and Analysis - DDI markup extends to the variable level, and provides a standard structure and content for variables, allowing DDI documents to be imported into on-line analysis systems, broadening their audience.
  5. Precision in Searching - DDI allows users to search using domain-specific constraints allowing one, for example, to search for datasets containing protest demonstrations (CollectionSituation) during the 1960's (DataCollectionDate) user_guide).

DIF (Directory Interchange Format)

DIF is a metadata scheme developed in 1987 by Catalog Interoperability Working Group, which has evolved for over 20 years, accompanying the growing metadata requirements, including the need for geospatial information.

These capabilities were incorporated into DIF by the inclusion, in 1994, of elements of the Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM).

The standard specifies eight mandatory qualifiersdif).

RFC 1807

RFC 1807 is a memo, not a standard.It defines a format for emailing bibliographic records of technical reportsrfc1807).


benefits) Data Documentation Initiative, Consulted on March 2011. Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) - Benefits of DDI.
user_guide) Data Documentation Initiative, October 2009 (Consulted on March 2011). Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) Technical Specification Part II: User Guide.

dif) Global Change Master Directory. National Aeronautics and Space Administration., 2010 (Consulted on March 2011). Directory Interchange Format (DIF) Writer's Guide. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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