Standards Watch

Last Stage for Dublin Core

Ha, I knew that headline would get your attention! But before you panic, let me reassure you, DC is not going away, or anything of the sort. This latest of notifications from Cindy Hepfer, ALA Voting representative to NISO, has to do with ISO/FDIS 15836, The Dublin Core metadata element set. To clarify, this is the Simple DC set, the original 15 elements only, recently revised and available in a new NISO version. The balloting by ISO is the last stage in making the standard versions consistent with one another.

The introduction in the standard reads as follows:

“In 2006, the DCMI Usage Board undertook an editorial review of terms in the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (DCMES) in order to clarify intended semantics and bring the wording of their definitions and usage comments into line with the language of the DCMI Abstract Model [DCAM]. A set of proposed changes was posted for public comment from August 28 to September 25, 2006. A face-to-face Usage Board meeting in Manzanillo, Mexico, on September 30, 2006, resulted in the publication on December 18, 2006, of a decision text, a response to comments, and revised terms documentation. This revision of the original ANSI/NISO Z39.85 standard that was issued in 2001 corresponds to version 1.1 of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative website that resulted from the editorial review and public comment period described above. All changes made to terms of the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set since 2001 have been reviewed by a DCMI Usage Board in the context of the DCMI Namespace Policy. The namespace policy describes how DCMI terms are assigned Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) and sets limits on the range of editorial changes that may be made to the labels, definitions and usage comments associated with existing DCMI terms.”

The announcement indicates:

“At the TC46/SC4 Stockholm meeting, it was resolved that a revision to ISO 15386, The Dublin Core metadata element set, would be released for a fast track revision, to ensure consistency with ANSI/NISO Z39.85:2007. Accordingly, this revision is being balloted immediately at the Final Draft International Standard stage. This is the first and most likely only ballot we will receive on this standard’s revision.”

[Full disclosure, I was a member of the DC Usage Board through DC-2008 in Sept. and participated in the revisions noted above.]

Cindy reminds us that feedback to NISO can include ballot options of Yes, No or Abstain, but that anything but Yes requires comment. ALA is, as usual, not voting on the standard itself but rather is providing feedback to NISO as to whether to approve or disapprove the standard.

In this case, though the usual drill is to contact Cindy directly for a copy of the standard, all the changes are reflected on the DCMI website ( If you want access to the revision document provided by ISO, you can apply directly at (I’d appreciate it if you would copy me at on your request so I can track responses to these announcements).

The deadline for input to Cindy is no later than: Friday, Dec. 12, 2008.

Diane I. Hillmann
LITA Standards Coordinator