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Internet Styleguide


The Dublin Core (DC) Metadata Initiative is an effort to bring the centuries of experience cataloging information into a set of open, global standards. The DC Metadata Element Set is based on the cataloging records used by most libraries. It provides a systematic way to identify basic information about a document: title, author, subject, description, location, etc.

We've adapted the DC metadata element set for use on our Web sites. The metadata elements we use most often are listed below. Specific projects may require deviation from this commonly used set, and the DC system is sufficiently flexible to accomodate project-specific needs.

The document's title. This should be a formal title for the document, not a list of keywords.
Any optional title for the document (e.g., a common name for the document).
Name of the person or organization primarily responsible for creating the intellectual content. Format names to facilitate alphabetizing (e.g., Lastname, Firstname; Widget Company, The).
Contact information (e.g., e-mail address).
Any additional person or organization resposible for creating the intellectual content, including co-authors.
Keywords selected from a controlled vocabulary (e.g., Library of Congress subject index, subject-specific thesaurus, custom keyword list). The use of a controlled vocabulary helps bring organization to the subject headings and avoid the temptation to continually add keywords. Only the most relevant keywords should be used for each document.
A brief summary of the document, typically not more than two sentences.
Format as City: Publisher.
Normally include only if the publisher need be contacted to obtain copies or use permission. Could be a mail or e-mail address or a telephone or fax number. Use "same" if the publisher and the creator have the same address.
The date of initial publication or availability. Format as YYYY-MM-DD.
The date of a major revision of a document, unless the revision is issued as a new document (e.g., a 2nd edition).
The file extension (e.g., html, pdf, jpg). Used to identify whether particular software is required to access the document.
The file size, number of pages, or other measure appropriate to the document type.
A string or number unique to the document. For URLs, use the full path (e.g., For documents not available on the Internet, use the appropriate formal identification system (e.g., ISBN for books).
The source from which the document is derived (e.g., the URL of the original document for republished files). Noot needed if the source is the same as the identifier.
A code representing the language followed by a hyphen and a country code (e.g., en-us). See Language Identifiers in the Markup Context by Robin Cover.
Reference to a related resource (e.g., the URL of the main page of a multi-page document).
A copyright statement or link to a copyright notice.