DESIRE Metadata Registry

DESIRE: Development of a European Service for Information on Research and Education



As part of the DESIRE project, UKOLN built a demonstrator of a metadata registry. Related work in the form of implementing an RDF metadata schema registry was also undertaken as part of the SCHEMAS project.

We intended the DESIRE registry to investigate functionality which would enable disclosure of authoritative usage of metadata at a variety of levels

The demonstrator was a 'work in progress' and we welcomed comment and discussion. We made the work available as we hoped that our efforts would inform activity taking place elsewhere. Please note that this registry was not designed for the purpose of managing a single namespace, but was intended to provide information across a range of metadata schema. In this way it differed from work taking place at the time within the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, although we believed it was relevant to questions of data modelling in this context. In time we expected 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 was the Dublin Core, the BIBLINK element set and ROADS templates. This allowed us to test the structure of the database as regards elements, qualifiers, local usage and permitted values. Once we had tested the structure of the registry we then planned to populate the database with other schema in use within the DESIRE project (e.g. the DESIRE LDAP directory schema).

We used ISO/IEC 11179 as a guide to constructing the registry and the chosen data model was strongly influenced by this standard. We used units from the Basic Semantic Registry as the basis for mapping between schemas.We hoped this will ensure that our work fits with parallel activity in the wider forum of data registries. For DESIRE, our objective was to present a human readable registry only.

Why we need metadata registries?

At the time of the DESIRE project, new patterns for managing metadata were emerging in relation to the various process of metadata creation, maintenance of the metadata repository, inter-working with other services. Both humans and software were involved in these processes and needed to be locate information about existing metadata schema.

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

Metadata describes a resource in order to allow operations on the resource. The question is how do we describe that resource in order to facilitate operation? We choose a metadata schema that defines most closely the semantics we need. At the time of DESIRE, a several different metadata schemas had begun to emerge, 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:

Maintained by: the Research and Development Group of UKOLN, the UK Office for Library and Information Networking, University of Bath.
Document created: 14-Dec-1999.
Last updated: 09-Jan-2013.