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NBII Uses of the Dublin Core Metadata Standard

The Dublin Core Metadata Standard is an internationally recognized and implemented, interoperable, online metadata standard that supports a broad range of uses. Dublin Core metadata is used to supplement existing methods for searching and indexing Web-based metadata, regardless of whether the corresponding resource is an electronic document or a "real" physical object. Dublin Core metadata provides card catalog-like definitions for defining the properties of objects for Web-based resource discovery systems. The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set contains 15 descriptive semantic definitions, representing a core set of elements likely to be useful across a broad range of disciplines and business sectors (DCMI 2006).

The NBII selected the Dublin Core Metadata Standard as its schema for characterizing and providing access to a variety of online and offline resources, including publications, databases, tools, software, educational materials, grey literature, references, and other general resources. This decision was based on the fact that the Dublin Core Standard is simple, internationally recognized, widely implemented, and highly extensible to a variety of resource types. The NBII continues to implement and strongly support the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Standard for geospatially explicit datasets and data layers; however, for most resources that are not geospatially explicit, the Dublin Core Standard is a more appropriate option, as it is robust, concise, easy to learn, and easy to implement.

Use of the Dublin Core Metadata Standard has allowed NBII to improve the quality of information access, interpretation, and retrieval by our users. Dublin Core's increased rates of adoption by many natural resources organizations around the world will lead to integration of these systems that share a common "description language," vastly expanding both physical and intellectual access to important data and information about the world's resources.

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Dublin Core Metadata Initiative logo

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Web site offers a wealth of resources to those new to the standard, as well as active practitioners. The site is both a repository of documents, schemas, guidelines, glossaries, training materials, and the official element set, and the official gateway to collaborative working groups, mailing lists, and wikis on a wide variety of specific topics related to the standard.

Core NBII Documents

National Biological Information Infrastructure Metadata Standard for General Resources Cataloging, Version 2.2
Based upon the 15-element Dublin Core Metadata Standard, this NBII standard identifies, defines, and provides use cases and formatting rules for characterizing online and offline resources made available through the NBII Web site.

NBII Resource Type Definitions, Version 3.0
A glossary of NBII-specific definitions for Resource Types defined in the NBII Metadata Standard for General Resources Cataloging.

The NBII Program is administered by the Biological Informatics Program of the U.S. Geological Survey
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