November 15, 2010 – In Pittsburgh, in conjunction with ASIS&T’s recent annual meeting, the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Dublin Core metadata standards. DCMI describes itself as “an open organization engaged in the development of interoperable metadata standards that support a broad range of purposes and business models. DCMI’s activities include work on architecture and modeling, discussions and collaborative work in DCMI Communities and DCMI Task Groups, annual conferences and workshops, standards liaison, and educational efforts to promote widespread acceptance of metadata standards and practices.”

The celebration took the form of a conference (which I attended), namely, the DC-2010 International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications. The conference slogan was “Making Metadata Work Harder: Celebrating 15 Years of Dublin Core.”

Of particular relevance for those who are interested in taxonomies are the conference events involving the DCMI/NKOS Task Group. (“NKOS” stands for “networked knowledge organization system(s),” and taxonomies are knowledge organization systems.) The group is a young one, having been established in late December of 2009. According to its charter, “The DCMI/NKOS Task Group targets to develop a Dublin Core Application Profile for KOS resources based on the work the NKOS group members have already done during the last decade. The application profile will further be tested by professionals and researchers.”

Why is this work important? The group’s main webpage¬†explains:

“Various types of KOS have been increasingly embodied as (Web) services to facilitate resource discovery and retrieval. Different agents, services, and applications need to communicate about KOS data in the form of transferring, exchange, transformation, mediation, migration, and integration. The information about a KOS, including its data model, type, protocol, status, responsible body, available format, affectivity, and other descriptive data are very important to terminology registries, service registries, vocabulary users (machine or human), and retrieval systems. At a minimum level, metadata for KOS resources will describe specific characteristics of a KOS, facilitate the discovery of KOS resources, assist in the evaluation of such resources for a particular application of use, and facilitate sharing, reusing, and collaboration of the KOS resources. Currently there is no protocol for describing KOS resources.”

The DCMI/NKOS Task Group is now almost halfway through its detailed two-year work plan. The group certainly has its work cut out for itself.

Marjorie M.K. Hlava
President and Chairman
Access Innovations / Data Harmony