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Guide to Metadata

Dublin Core

How to

Intro to the use of metatagsHow-to

Some Do's and Don't's of metatagsDo's and Don't's

Examples of metatagsExamples

The Dublin Core metadataDublin Core

Improved ranking in search results is the major benefit of using metadata from the point of view of the web designer, more relevant search results are the benefits for the user. However, the concerns of many metadata initiatives, like the Dublin Core Initiative, are more wide-reaching. Their aim is to develop standards that will enable the indexing, cataloguing and preservation of digital information and resources.

In 1995 the Dublin Core Initiative began to develop standards for electronic resource discovery on the World Wide Web. These standards are deliberately kept simple and flexible, so that authors can provide metadata by themselves (Simplicity of creation and maintenance), that any Internet document can be described with it (Commonly understood semantics, Extensibility, Interoperability among collections and indexing systems) and that it can be easily adapted into other languages (International scope and applicability).

The metatags are placed within the HEAD section of the HTML code of a web page. The Dublin Core element names are preceded by 'DC'. All elements are optional.

Some of the main DC metatags are:

the same as that given in the <TITLE> tag
person/organization responsible for the intellectual content. LastName, FirstName
a list of keywords that describe the content of the page
some search engines use this description as the summary of a page in the displayed search results
sometimes an organization, company, university is responsible for or owns the right to the document
typically the Webmaster. LastName, FirstName
YYYY-MM-DD, important for searches by date
URL of the page. The uniquely identifier for the page.
data format, e.g. text/html, image/jpeg, image/gif, video/quicktime
category, e.g. home page, menu, text document, image, video, data, software, sound
link to a copyright notice or terms of access


The DC metadata for this document looks like this:

<TITLE>Metadata - Dublin Core</TITLE>
<META NAME="DC.Title" CONTENT="Metadata - Dublin Core">
<META NAME="DC.Creator.Address" CONTENT="iris@jarmin.com">
<META NAME="DC.Subject" CONTENT="metadata, metatags, Dublin Core, guidelines, web design, resources, HTML authoring">
<META NAME="DC.Description" CONTENT="A quick guide to Dublin Core metadata for web designers.">
<META NAME="DC.Date.Created" CONTENT="2000-02-01">
<META NAME="DC.Date.Modified" CONTENT="2000-02-09">
<META NAME="DC.Type" CONTENT="Text.Homepage.Educational">
<META NAME="DC.Format" CONTENT="text/html">
<META NAME="DC.Language" CONTENT="en">
<META NAME="DC.Identifier" CONTENT="http://www.jarmin.com/meta/dcore.html">

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7 March 2000
webmaster at jarmin.com