DCMI Abstract Model

Andy Powell, Mikael Nilsson, Ambjörn Naeve, Pete Johnston, Thomas Baker


This document specifies an abstract model for Dublin Core metadata. The primary purpose of this document is to specify the components and constructs used in Dublin Core metadata. It defines the nature of the components used and describes how those components are combined to create information structures. It provides an information model which is independent of any particular encoding syntax. Such an information model allows us to gain a better understanding of the kinds of descriptions that we are encoding and facilitates the development of better mappings and cross-syntax translations. This document is primarily aimed at the developers of software applications that support Dublin Core metadata, people involved in developing new syntax encoding guidelines for Dublin Core metadata and people developing metadata application profiles based on DCMI vocabularies or on other compatible vocabularies. The DCMI Abstract Model builds on work undertaken by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) on the Resource Description Framework (RDF). The use of concepts from RDF is summarized below in Section 5. The DCMI Abstract Model is represented here using UML class diagrams. Readers that are not familiar with UML class diagrams should note that lines ending in a block-arrow should be read as 'is' or 'is a' (for example, "a value is a resource") and that lines starting with a block-diamond should be read as 'contains a' or 'has a' (for example, "a statement contains a property URI"). Other relationships are labeled appropriately. In this document, words and phrases in italics are defined in Section 7, Terminology.


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