Dublin Core

By Deane Barker on December 5, 2003

Dublin Core Metadata Initiative: Don’t know whether that META tag should have a “name” attribute of “Summary” or “Description”? You’re not alone. We need standard META tag names. Oh wait…

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) is an organization dedicated to promoting the widespread adoption of interoperable metadata standards and developing specialized metadata vocabularies for describing resources that enable more intelligent information discovery systems.

Here’s the list of 15 elements they have approved. I know no one likes have a new standard shoved down their throats, but if you currently have no standard names for your META tags, this is as good a place to start as any. A lot of these names are obvious, but at least someone got together and debated them for a while.

Why “Dublin Core”? It refers to the city these folks met in for the first time in 1995 — Dublin, Ohio. This initiative is very much alive — they just had a conference in Seattle.



  1. This has to be one of the best named standards out there. It just sounds ridiculously important. Of note, all Government of Canada websites are mandated to use the Dublin Core metadata on every page of every site.

  2. I think it’s a great idea. META is all over the map. I know that RDF and The Sematic Web are the Big Important Plans for this space, but META tags exist right now, and we need a “right now” plan for making them work better.

    I agree about the name. I can drop it into conversations and sound really important.

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