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The Nordic metadata II -project has started in January 1999. The project partners are almost the same than in the Nordic metadata I.
The national library of Norway has started delivery of URNs to the Web documents. It is the third national library to do this after national libraries of Sweden and Finland, who begun in May 1998.
Donor project (http://www.konbib.nl/donor/index-en.html) has evaluated metadata generators and decided to use Nordic metadata generator as the basis of its metadata tool.
The Nordic Metadata I project created basic elements of a metadata production and utilization system based on
the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set. The project was funded by NORDINFO (
http://www.nordinfo.helsinki.fi). It begun in October 1996 and was completed in June 1998.
The final report of the Nordic metadata project is available at
(Word 97) or http://www.lib.helsinki.fi/meta/nmfinal.htm
The software and documentation created in this project will be available in public domain for any organisation
which has interest in fostering creation and use of metadata.
NORDINFO funds also a follow-up project, Nordic metadata II. The project plan is available at
http://www.lib.helsinki.fi/meta/nm2plan.html. The follow-up project will enhance the tools developed in Nordic metadata I.
NORDIC METADATA II PROJECT GROUP
|Ole Husby||Bibsys, Norway |
|Juha Hakala||Helsinki University Library, Finland|
|Traugott Koch||Lund University Library, NetLab, Sweden |
|Susanne Thorborg||Danish Library Center, Denmark|
|Andrea Johannsdottir||The National and University Library of Iceland |
|Preben Hansen||Swedish Institute of Computer Science|
The project is divided into the following work packages:
- Enhancement of the existing Dublin Core specification
The project activities in this area will be related to development of XML/RDF syntax and creation of a new version of Dublin Core, tentatively called Dublin Core 2.0. Since several project team members are participants in Dublin Core Technical Advisory Committee and DC Policy Advisory Committee, we can influence the decisions being done in the DC community.
- Creation of Dublin Core to MARC converter.
The Nordic metadata I DC -> MARC converter is available at
http://www.bibsys.no/meta/d2m/. The converter is capable of producing records in USMARC and
all Nordic MARC formats from Dublin Core source data. The software was written by Ole Husby from Bibsys.
In Nordic metadata II we intend to build a table driven converter, so as to enable easy modification of the conversion by the application users. The conversion tables will be modifiable with Excel or a similar tool.
- Dublin Core User support and tools evaluation.
DC User guide
The Nordic metadata produced a full and short version of the Dublin Core user guide (see chapter 2.5 of the final report).
These documents are very actively used since they are linked to the metadata templates, and thus form an integrated part of the
service. There is an urgent need to keep these documents up to date when the template is modified.
In addition to the template guide, there are also user guides linked to the URN generator and DC to MARC converter.
There are at least three reasons for continuing work in this area:
- Dublin Core is still evolving. Once the list of core qualifiers has been approved, our metadata template and converter will
change to some extent. The changes done to the application will cause some changes to the user guides as well. Inclusion
of new DC syntaxes into the template for e.g. XML and Alta Vista must also be reflected in the user guides.
- The 1st general Dublin Core user guide will be published in summer '98. We need to evaluate this document thoroughly
and modify our own metadata template user guides if necessary.
- A Nordic user guide does not give full support to users in e.g. Finland. The user guide, once stable, needs to be
translated to all Nordic languages and modified according to the local needs. For instance, since SAB classification is not
used in Finland we can remove the SAB section from the local user guide (and template).
Evaluation of tools
In Nordic metadata I the users were asked to evaluate the metadata template. Although the number of respondents was small
when compared with the number of people who provided metadata with the tool, the feedback received gave us valuable
insight on how to improve the service.
The evaluation must be continued in the Nordic metadata II, but in this project we should evaluate not only the template, but
also other services like the national metadata databases, DC to MARC converter and URN generator, in this priority order.
Since one of the main motivations of the project is to make network documents more easily accessible, it is important for us to
know if the users are satisfied with the metadata databases.
- Maintenance and development of metadata tools
As of this writing the software written for the template in Netlab is being used in many projects in Nordic countries and
elsewhere. It is important to continue maintenance and support of the application for this reason only. But there are other, more challenging reasons for improving this tool (see chapter 2.1 of the final report for more details).
The functionality that must be added to the template includes:
- Support for core qualifiers for Dublin Core elements. The list of core elements will be finished in autumn 1998.
- Support for new Dublin Core syntaxes for XML and RDF, and for modified HTML 4.0 syntax. As of this writing it seems that the DC syntax for HTML will be aligned with XML syntax, which means a few non-trivial changes for the existing HTML syntax recommendation.
- Support for metadata syntax supported by Alta Vista. This has nothing to do with Dublin Core as such, but is useful and
very easy to implement.
- Development of new functionality such as extraction of existing metadata from the document to be described. This has been already incorporated into the Nordic metadata software by the Donor project.
The Nordic Metadata I metadata generator is available at
http://www.lub.lu.se/cgi-bin/nmdc.pl. Its primary authors are Traugott Koch and Mattias Borell from Lund University NetLab unit. User guides were written by Preben Hansen from SICS. The same team will continue template development in Nordic metadata II.
As a part of the Nordic metadata project the Nordic Web Index was enhanced so that it is capable of harvesting
meaningful metadata from Web documents. As of this writing there are two national metadata databases available,
Swemeta and Danmeta. These databases contain about 250.000 records, which is about 6-7 % of the total web space
in Sweden and Denmark.
The Nordic metadata II will enhance Nordic Web Index in co-operation with other Nordic initiatives in the following areas:
- Improve NWI's harvesting and indexing software
- Adaptation and improvements of the retrieval system
- Adaptation of the user interface and search support
- Establishment and maintenance of national metadata databases
See the project report for more details on work to be carried out in these areas.
Nordic metadata I produced also other metadata tools, such as a URN generator and a user guide for it (http://www.lub.lu.se/cgi-bin/nmurn.pl. Development and maintenance of these tools will continue in the Nordic metadata II.
All public project information (bibliographies, reports, user guides etc.) has been made available via this page.
The documents were written in English and published in HTML format.
The list presented here is very selective. See the final report for the full list of publications.
- Hakala, Juha: Dublin Core/FINMARC/GILS Crosswalk. Available at:
- Hakala, Juha : Dublin Core in Nordic Countries. Available at:
- Hakala, Juha: The Nordic Metadata II project: Cataloguing, Indexing and Retrieval of Network Documents. Available at:
- Hakala, Juha. The Nordic metadata project. Final report. Available at:
- Hansen, Preben: Nordic Metadata creation tool. General help. Available at:
- Hansen, Preben: User guidelines for Dublin Core creation. Available at:
- Hansen, Preben: User guidelines for DC metadata creation. Short version. Available at:
- Husby, Ole: The Nordic Metadata Project. DC to MARC conversion. Presentation at the DC-5 workshop,
Helsinki, Finland. Slides available at:
- Koch, Traugott, Husby, Ole and Hakala, Juha (1996). Warwick framework and Dublin core set provide a
comprehensive infrastructure for network resource description. Report from the Metadata Workshop II,
Warwick,UK, April 1-3, 1996. Available at:
- Metadata information day. Lund, October 11, 1996. Access to workshop materials is available at:
- Nordic Metadata Workshop. Helsinki, October 9, 1997. Access to workshop materials is available at
- Project plan:http://www.lib.helsinki.fi/meta/projplan.html.
Portions of this document are badly out of date, since our plans have changed along the way.
- Thorborg, Susanne: Dublin Core -> DANMARC crosswalk. Available at
- Weibel, Stuart: Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. Available at:
There is a lot of information available about the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set and metadata in general in the Web.
Below is a short list of some relevant sources.
Last updated: 21 February 2000