Metadata - What is it?

A Post-conference Seminar organised by UKOLN on behalf of the JISC's Committee on Electronic Information

Wednesday 18 June 1997
Church House Conference Centre
Westminster, London

Presentations from this seminar are available at:

A new world, a new vocabulary? 'Metadata' is now commonly used to refer to data which describes other data. It is often used in the context of network or other electronic resources. There are a variety of types of metadata, and there is a range of standardisation activities within particular communities of interest. For example, there are initiatives looking at archives data, at geospatial reference data, at museums data, and so on. It is an area of active research and development.

This seminar aims to promote awareness of existing metadata activity and to explore fruitful avenues for development and implementation. There will be some focus on the 'Dublin Core', a simple metadata element set around which some consensus seems to be forming. The Dublin Core has several target uses: it is a simple format for Internet resource description; it provides a mechanism for associating metadata with web pages; it provides a 'lowest common denominator' format between richer metadata models. The seminar will place Dublin Core in a wider framework of activity, briefly looking at other metadata and technical developments.

Further information about metadata and about Dublin Core can be found at UKOLN's metadata web pages.

Content by Hazel Gott of UKOLN
Web page by Isobel Stark of UKOLN

Page last revised on 16-Mar-1997