DESIRE Registry

DESIRE Metadata Registry: context

As part of the DESIRE effort UKOLN are building a demonstrator of a metadata registry. We intend the DESIRE registry to investigate functionality which would enable disclosure of authoritative usage of metadata at a variety of levels

This is 'work in progress' and we welcome comment and discussion. We are making this work available as we hope that our efforts will inform activity taking place elsewhere. Please note that this registry is not designed for the purpose of managing a single namespace, but is intended to provide information across a range of metadata schema. In this way it differs from work taking place within the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, although we believe it is relevant to questions of data modelling in this context. In time we would expect a variety of registries to evolve. For example each namespace, such as the Dublin Core (DC), might be registered authoratatively by a registry owned by their own maintenance agency, with 'implementation level' registries linking into such registries as appropriate.

Our initial input into the DESIRE registry will be of the Dublin Core, the BIBLINK element set and ROADS templates. This will allow us to test the structure of the database as regards elements, qualifiers, local usage and permitted values. Once we have tested the structure of the registry we will then populate the database with schema in use within the DESIRE project (e.g. the DESIRE LDAP directory schema). WE intend to complete this work by March 2000.

We have used ISO/IEC 11179 as a guide to constructing the registry and the chosen data model has been strongly influenced by this standard. We are using units from the Basic Semantic Registry as the basis for mapping between schemas.We hope this will ensure that our work fits with parallel activity in the wider forum of data registries. At this stage our objective is to present a human readable registry only.

Why we need metadata registries?

New patterns for managing metadata are emerging in relation to the various process of metadata creation, maintenance of the metadata repository, inter-working with other services. Humans and software are involved in these processes and need to be locate information about existing metadata schema.

Within the EC funded DESIRE project we are considering the role of metadata registries for the disclosure of information about the structure and semantics of metadata element sets. The need to find out how metadata is used is shared by

Metadata describes a resource in order to allow operations on the resource. How do we describe that resource in order to facilitate operation? We choose a metadata schema that defines most closely the semantics we need. Several new and emerging m/d schema now exist, each designed for different purposes, whether for differing domains or for differing functional requirements:

What are the requirements for a metadata registry?

Some of the purposes of a registry would be:

Rachel Heery, UKOLN