Proposed collection description attributes

This page lists a proposed core set of collection level description attributes and their semantics.

This list of attributes and associated issues form the basis for discussion on the mailing list. The list is based on a comparison of some existing collection description schemes and on a set of attributes proposed by Dan Brickley to the open-roads mailing list.

NameLabelSemanticsSee also
Title Title The name given to the collection, usually by the Admin, Owner or Publisher. DC.Title, ROADS.Title, ROADS.Short-Title, ROADS.Alternative-Title, ISADG.Title,
Subject and Keywords Subject The topic of the collection. Typically, subject will be expressed as keywords or phrases that describe the subject or content of the collection. The use of controlled vocabularies and formal classification schemes is encouraged. DC.Subject, GILS.Controlled-Subject-Index, GILS.Subject-Terms-Uncontrolled, ROADS.Keywords, ROADS.Subject-Descriptor, ROADS.Subject-Descriptor-Scheme,
Description Description A textual description of the content of the collection. DC.Description, ROADS.Description, WASRV.Description,
Collection Administrator Admin The person or organization responsible for collection administration (administrative contact). ROADS.Admin, DC.Contributor,
Collection Owner Owner The person or organization that owns the collection. ROADS.Owner, DC.Contributor,
Publisher Publisher The entity responsible for making the collection available in its present form, such as a publishing house, a university department, or a corporate entity. DC.Publisher, ROADS.Publisher,
Date Date A date associated with the creation or availability of the collection. Recommended best practice is defined in a profile of ISO 8601 that includes (among others) dates of the forms YYYY and YYYY-MM-DD. In this scheme, for example, the date 1994-11-05 corresponds to November 5, 1994. DC.Date, GILS.Date-Of-Publication, GILS.Date-of-Last-Modification, ISADG.Dates-of-creation, ISADG.Dates-of-accumulation,
Language Language The language of the intellectual content of the collection. Recommended best practice is defined in RFC 1766. DC.Language, GILS.Language-of-Resource, GILS.Language-of-Record, ROADS.Language, ISADG.Language-of-material,
Source Source Information about the resources from which the collection is derived. DC.Source, GILS.Sources-of-Data, ROADS.Source,
Coverage Coverage The spatial or temporal characteristics of the intellectual content of the collection. Spatial coverage refers to a physical region (e.g., celestial sector) using place names or coordinates (e.g., longitude and latitude). Temporal coverage refers to what the collection is about rather than when it was created or made available (the latter belonging in the Date element). Temporal coverage is typically specified using named time periods (e.g., neolithic) or the same date/time format as recommended for the Date element. DC.Coverage, GILS.Spatial-Domain, GILS.Time-Period,
Relation Relation An identifier of a second resource or collection and its relationship to the present collection. This element is used to express linkages among related resources and collections of resources. DC.Relation, GILS.Cross-Reference,
Collection Type Type The category of the collection. For the sake of interoperability, Type should be selected from an enumerated list. DC.Type, ROADS.Category,
Other notes Notes Specialized information that cannot be accommodated in any of the other areas. GILS.Supplemental-Information, ISADG.Note,
Collection Purpose and Policy Purpose A statement of why the collection is offered and the origin and lineage of the resources held. This attribute may also describe any collection policy associated with the collection. GILS.Purpose,
Collection Identifier Identifier A string or number used to uniquely identify the collection. Examples for networked collections include URLs and URNs (when implemented). Note that protocol specific URLs for Z39.50 (RFC-2056), LDAP (RFC-2255) and Whois++ ( draft-ietf-asid-whois-url-02.txt) may be used to provide host, port, database and other information ncessary for connecting to network accessible collections. DC.Identifier, GILS.Control-Identifier, GILS.Original-Control-Identifier, ROADS.URI, WASRV.Service-URL, WASRV.Protocol-Version, WASRV.Server-Name, WASRV.Server-Port,
Access Times AccessTimes Time ranges for mandatory or preferred access of service. ROADS.Access-Times, GILS.Availability,
Physical Location and Access Location If there is physical access to the collection, this attribute gives information about its location, for example a postal address. This attribute may also be used to provide related information, such as wheelchair access.  
Terms and conditions
Access Policy AccessPolicy A description of any constraints or legal prerequisites for accessing the information resource or its component products or services. GILS.Access-Constraints, ROADS.Access-Policy, ISADG.Access-conditions,
Charging Policy ChargingPolicy A description of any charging mechanism in place, an identifier such a description or an identifier that links to a service providing such a description for the collection. GILS.Availability, ROADS.Charging-Policy, WASRV.Cost,
Rights Management Rights A rights management statement, an identifier that links to a rights management statement, or an identifier that links to a service providing information about rights management for the collection. DC.Rights, ISADG.Copyright/Conditions,
Use Constraints UseConstraints A description of any constraints or legal prerequisites for using the information resource or its component products or services. This includes any use constraints applied to assure the protection of privacy or intellectual property and any other special restrictions or limitations on using the information resource. GILS.Use-Constraints,
Required Collection Logo Logo The URI of a logo associated with the collection or the Owner of the collection. If present, this logo must be displayed by any service that provides access to the collection.  


A list of issues for discussion concerning this list of attributes is maintained separately.

Content by: Verity Brack, Dan Brickley, Matthew Dovey, David Kay, Dennis Nicholson, Andy Powell, Graeme Stewart
Maintained by: Andy Powell
Last updated: $Id: intro.html,v 1.8 1998/10/08 12:37:07 lisap Exp $

[collection description] [metadata] [UKOLN]