Metadata can be defined as
  • data that describes one or more resources
  • data that is associated with an object and describes this object

In principle, metadata therefore represents a description of documents, objects or services and contains information about their content, structure or form. Metadata are somewhat more abstract descriptions of data or "data about data". Bibliographic records and catalog entries in libraries can be seen as a form of metadata.

The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (short Dublin Core or DC) consisting of fifteen basic elements should serve as the basis for the metadata on this document server. Dublin Core is the result of international efforts to find a common consensus when describing electronic objects (in the broadest sense). The Library of Congress (LoC), the Online Cataloging Library Center (OCLC) and a number of national libraries are working on projects with Dublin Core or are about to launch it.

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