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Currently, Best Practice for Metadata is based upon the metadata standards set by the Dublin Core Initiative. In theory, with DC standards anything in the world could be cataloged with one metadata standard. However, DC standards are too general for linguistic data (for instance, DC standards only allow for one "language" element, but do not specify whether it is for the subject language or the written-in language). Therefore, further standardization is a necessity for accurate linguistic metadata.

As such, OLAC, the Open Language Archives Community, set about extending the DC standards to fully encompass linguistic metadata. In order for linguistic metadata to be considered best practice, it must follow the OLAC Metadata Standards.

OLAC Mainpage

OLAC Metadata Standards

OLAC Metadata Elements

Both DC and OLAC focus upon 15 main elements which would ideally be present in any metadata file (however, it is entirely up to the metadata creator which elements to use, and how many times they should be iterated). Listed below are the 15 elements, including definitions and any OLAC extension or DC substitution which may apply.

View a full XML metadata example file

Creator: The creator of the data. Extension: Role.
Contributors: Anyone who has contributed to the work. Extension: Role.
Coverage: The area that the data covers. Substitutions include "spatial" and "temporal".
Date: Any date associated with the work. Substitutions possible include "date created", "modified", "available", etc.
Description: Information that describes the data, such as an abstract.
Format: The format which the data is in. Substitutions possible include medium and extent.
Identifier: A formal identifier of the data, such as an ISBN or URL.
Language: The language which the data is written in. Extension: Language (including SIL codes).
Publisher: The name of the publisher of the data.
Relation: Any relationship to another dataset or file. Substitutions include "requires" and "replaces".
Rights: The rights over the data. Extension: Access.
Source: The source of the resource.
Subject: The subject the resource covers. Extensions: Language, Discourse Type, and Linguistic Field.
Title: The title of the resource.
Type: The type of resource. Extension: Linguistic Type, and Discourse Type.

The content of this page was developed using resources listed in our Annotated Bibliography.

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Metadata Basic Requirements
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