Dublin Core Metadata Initiative

DC Type Qualifiers

DC Working Draft - 10 December 1999

This version:<http://lcweb.loc.gov/marc/dc/typequalif-19991210.html>

Latest version:<http://lcweb.loc.gov/marc/dc/typequalif-19991210.html>

Editor:Rebecca Guenther <[email protected]>

Status of this document

This document is a Working Draft of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative [DCMI], and is intended to reflect consensus reached within the Type Working Group [DCTYPE] of the DCMI.

This is the FINAL version of the Working Draft. Publication as a Final Working Draft does not imply endorsement by the DCMI. This document has been submitted to the DCMI Usage Committee as input into the development of the Qualifiers for the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set.

Comments and feedback should be sent to the working group mailing list, <[email protected]>, the archives for which may be browsed at <http://www.mailbase.ac.uk/lists/dc-type/> (NOTE, you must be a member of the WG to post messages to the WG) or, alternatively, send your feedback to the Editor of this Working Draft.


Since most implementors do not qualify RESOURCE TYPE with type qualifiers it is proposed that they not be used. Although one was proposed in the previous proposal (Note), it was not endorsed at the DC7 meeting. Consensus was that any textual notes about genre should go in DC.Description.

Any other type qualifiers will be considered application-specific qualifiers, such as those used by the Australian Government Information Service (Qualifiers: Category, aggregationLevel, documentType, serviceType)


DCT1 is a DCMI-maintained enumerated list containing the following possible values.

These can be defined and used as follows:

an aggregation of items. The term collection means that the resource is described as a group; its parts may be separately described and navigated.
structured information encoded in lists, tables, databases, etc., which will normally be in a format available for direct machine processing. For example - spreadsheets, databases, GIS data, midi data. Note that unstructured numbers and words will normally be considered to be type text.
a non-persistent, time-based occurrence. Metadata for an event provides descriptive information that is the basis for discovery of the purpose, location, duration, responsible agents, and links to related events and resources. The resource of type event may not be retrievable if the described instantiation has expired or is yet to occur. Examples - exhibition, web-cast, conference, workshop, open-day, performance, battle, trial, wedding, tea-party, conflagration.
the content is primarily symbolic visual representation other than text. For example - images and photographs of physical objects, paintings, prints, drawings, other images and graphics, animations and moving pictures, film, diagrams, maps, musical notation. Note that image may include both electronic and physical representations.
interactive resource
a resource which requires interaction from the user to be understood, executed, or experienced. For example - forms on web pages, applets, multimedia learning objects, chat services, virtual reality.
an abstraction of the real thing, i.e. some generalisation and interpretation. Models could be considered a symbolic representation. Examples include performance models, cost models, mechanical models, etc.
a person, organization, cultural group, or institution.
a geographic area.
physical object
a non-human object or substance. This category includes objects that do not fit into any of the other categories on this list. In addition these objects must be approached physically to make use of them. For example - a computer, the great pyramid, a sculpture, wheat. Note that digital representations of, or surrogates for, these things should use image, text or one of the other types.
a system that provides one or more functions of value to the end-user. Examples include: a photocopying service, a banking service, an authentication service, interlibrary loans, a Z39.50 or Web server.
a computer program in source or compiled form which may be available for installation non-transiently on another machine. For software which exists only to create an interactive environment, use interactive instead.
a resource whose content is primarily audio or intended to be realized in audio. For example - music, speech, recorded sounds. This category includes musical notation, including score, which is unrealized in sound.
a resource whose content is primarily words for reading. For example - books, letters, dissertations, poems, newspapers, articles, archives of mailing lists. Note that facsimiles or images of texts are still of the genre text.

Examples include:

DC.Type (scheme=DCT1) = image
DC.Type (scheme=DCT1) = collection

Type may be repeated as necessary to include different categories. Examples are multimedia resources, which should include each appropriate category, and collections, which should include "collection" and any other appropriate type(s) (e.g. "text", "image", etc.).

Note that the values above consist of names that may be represented as tokens. Tokens should be expressed as follows:

collection collection
interactive resourceinteractive
physical objectphysical


Proposal is to use an enumerated list of values and to specify the list being used. Future work includes compiling a list of schemes maintained outside of DCMI.

Future work:

It is proposed that the Type Working Group investigate the following:

Note that the DC Citation Working Group concluded that "journal article" should be included as a value on a controlled list of types with subtypes.

Previous versions:

[1] <DC Type Working Group Proposal for Qualifier Usage (Revised 18 November 1999)>
[2] <List of Resource Types (DCT1) Proposed Revision November 1999>
[3] < DC Type Working Group Proposal for Qualifier Usage (September 1999)>
[4] <List of Resource Types (DCT1)> (August 1999)

Related document:

[1] <DC Type Working Group Review of Resource Type Qualifier Usage> (August 1999)