An Evaluation of Metadata and Dublin Core Use in Web-Based Resources

TitreAn Evaluation of Metadata and Dublin Core Use in Web-Based Resources
Publication TypeArticle de revue
Année de Publication2012
AuthorsTyler Elisabeth Phelps
PériodiqueLibri. International Journal of Libraries and Information Services

The challenge of bringing metadata-based order to the World Wide Web to facilitate information retrieval has persisted for nearly twenty years. One popular front-runner known as the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (DCMES, or “Dublin Core”) answered the challenge with a flexible, simple system: fifteen optional descriptive elements that could be built into a variety of syntaxes for use and retrieval. A variety of national agencies and international consortiums encouraged Dublin Core adoption, but early critics like Thomas and Griffin (1998) warned that “although a common metadata standard [like Dublin Core] does offer much promise, it may be useless if it is not implemented widely.” This study explores Dublin Core implementation on the Internet by replicating previous research on metadata use across randomly selected websites as well as homepages belonging to National Libraries (NL) around the world such as the Library of Congress (U.S.), the National Library of Thailand, or Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The study considers two hypotheses: first, that contemporary public and NL website creators continue to be not sufficiently motivated to include any metadata in their source code; and second, that Dublin Core use in website source code continues to be remarkably infrequent. These hypotheses support critical observations on the failure to implement use of Dublin Core or any other metadata system on the World Wide Web. While the data show little change from previous counts of Dublin Core use in website source code as predicted, the majority of randomly-selected and National Library contemporary websites do include at least one metadata tag. The author concludes that the financial reward of increased findability may be a significant motivator reflected in this increase of metadata use.