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Interoperability and service provision centres Working group

Technical Guidelines
for Digital Cultural Content Creation Programmes
Version 1.0: Revised 08 April 2004

This document has been developed on behalf of the Minerva Project by UKOLN, University of Bath, in association with MLA The Council for Museums, Libraries & Archives

cover of  handbook


8. Disclosure of resources

The collections developed by a digitisation project form part of a larg­er corpus of material. To support the discovery of resources within that corpus, for each collection, projects must consider exposing metadata about their resources so that it can be used by other applications and services, using one or more of the protocols or interfaces described in the following sub-sections.
The precise requirements in terms of what metadata should be pro­vided and how that metadata should be exposed will depend on the nature of the resources created and the applications and services with which that metadata is shared.
Projects should expose one or more collection-level metadata records describing their collections as units. Projects may expose item-level metadata records describing individual digital resources within their collection(s).
Both collection-level and item-level metadata records should include a statement of the conditions and terms of use of the resource.
In order to facilitate potential exchange and interoperability between services, projects should be able to provide item level descriptions in the form of simple, unqualified Dublin Core metadata records and may provide item-level descriptions conforming to the DC.Culture schema (See 6.2.1).
Where items are “learning resources” or resources of value to the learning and teaching communities, projects should also consider providing descriptions in the form of IEEE Learning Object Metadata.
Projects should also display awareness of any additional requirements to provide metadata imposed by their operating context (e.g. nation­al government metadata standards).
Projects should maintain awareness of any rights issues affecting their metadata records.  

Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, Version 1.1
Available 2005-02-15

Available 2005-02-15

IEEE Learning Object Metadata
Available 2005-02-15


8.1 Metadata harvesting

Projects should demonstrate awareness of the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) as a means of making their metadata available to service providers.
Projects may consider making their metadata available for harvesting by setting up OAI compliant metadata repositories. Projects that do establish such repositories should consider inclusion of a statement of the rights held in their metadata to ensure they retain ownership rights in their metadata.

Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH)
Available 2005-02-15

Available 2005-02-15


8.2 Distributed searching

Projects may need to display awareness of Z39.50, a network protocol that allows searching of (usually remote) heterogeneous databases and retrieval of data, via one user interface. Z39.50 is most often used for retrieving bibliographic records, although there are also some non-bibliographic implementations. Projects that do use Z39.50 must display awareness of the Bath Profile and its relevance to cross-domain interoperability.
Projects may also need to demonstrate awareness of the Search/Retrieve Web Service (SRW/SRU) protocol, which builds on Z39.50 semantics to deliver similar functionality using Web Service technologies.

Z39.50 Maintenance Agency
Available 2005-02-15

Bath Profile
Available 2005-02-15

SRW: Search/Retrieve Web Service
Available 2005-02-15

Z39.50 for All
Available 2005-02-15


8.3 Alerting

Projects may need to demonstrate awareness of the RDF (or Rich) Site Summary (RSS) family of specifications. RSS provides a mechanism for sharing descriptive metadata, typically in the form of a list of items, each containing a brief textual description along with a link to the originating source for expansion.

RDF Site Summary (RSS) 1.0
Available 2005-02-15

RSS 2.0
Available 2005-02-15

Syndicated content: it’s more than just some file formats
Available 2005-02-15


8.4 Web services

Projects should demonstrate awareness of the Web Services family of specifications, especially SOAP version 1.2 and the Web Services Description Language (WSDL).
For network services not covered by the specific protocols discussed above, consideration should be given to the use of SOAP, though use of the REST architectural style through HTTP 1.1 GET or POST requests to return XML documents may be appropriate.
Projects may also be required to show awareness of the Universal Description, Discovery & Integration (UDDI) specification

SOAP Version 1.2 Part 1: Messaging Framework
Available 2005-02-15

Web Services Description Language (WSDL) 1.1
Available 2005-02-15

Hypertext Transfer Protocol, HTTP/1.1
Available 2005-02-15

SOAP Version 1.2 Part 0: Primer
Available 2005-02-15


8.5 RDF and Web ontologies

Projects may wish to take advantage of the capacities to share and reuse data on the Web that are provided by the Resource Description Framework (RDF) family of specifications. RDF provides a standard way of expressing simple descriptions of resources. At the time of writing, it is not possible to specify standards for query interfaces to RDF databases, but further guidance may be provided in the future.
Projects may wish to make use of Web-based ontologies created using the Web Ontology Language (OWL). OWL builds on RDF and RDF Schema to add a richer vocabulary to describe properties and classes to facilitate the creation of machine-processable definitions of basic concepts and the relationships among them.
Projects may wish to explore the potential for semantic interoperabil­ity offered by established ontologies such as the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM) or the ABC Ontology/Model developed with­in the Harmony Project.
The CRM provides a common and extensible semantic framework that any cultural heritage information can be mapped to, and can provide a model for mediating between different sources of information. The ABC Ontology is a top-level ontology to facilitate interoperability between metadata schemas within the digital library domain.

Resource Description Framework (RDF)
Available 2005-02-15

Web Ontology Language (OWL)
Available 2005-02-15

CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM)
Available 2005-02-15

RDF Primer
Available 2005-02-15

OWL Web Ontology Language Overview
Available 2005-02-15

The ABC Ontology and Model
Available 2005-02-15



Copyright Minerva Project 2005-07, last revision 2005-07-11 edited by Minerva Editorial Board.
URL: www.minervaeurope.org/publications/technicalguidelines/disclosureresources.htm