At the end of the call, I suggested that the DCAM needs some verbiage in the introduction that ties it back to interoperability - which I take to be one of the main use cases for Dublin Core.
DCMI's current recommendation with regard to interoperability can be found in Interoperability Levels for Dublin Core Metadata , which was last revised in 2009. One of the problems I find with DCMI documentation is that it can be fragmented at times. For example, the DCAM itself does not reference this document. I believe it is important to add reference to this and perhaps even a brief summary of the "DCMI Stack", especially in any "DCAM for Librarians" type document. (I don't think it is enough to have a separate document - I think the fragmentation of this information is one of the frustrations that people have about DCAM).
Can others confirm this remains the current recommendation, and should be the basis of anything we wish to include in revised DCAM text?
I note with interest that Jon's position is supported by this document:
Level 2: Formal semantic interoperability
"Semantic" interoperability is based on a precise and correct use of the formal RDF semantics embodied in the RDF graph data model and in RDF-based vocabularies such as DCMI Metadata Terms. "Semantics" in this sense does not refer to well-formed natural-language definitions (which is how the word "semantics" has traditionally been used in the Dublin Core community). Rather, it refers to formally stated relationships between terms and rules for using such statements to draw automatic conclusions (logical inferences). This includes use (or inferrability) of URIs and conformance with formally specified domains, ranges, and sub-property relations. Regardless of its native encoding format, a specification could be said to be "semantically interoperable" if it were to supply a complete mapping to RDF triples, for example via a GRDDL transform.
This level corresponds to implicit or explicit use of the RDF semantics underlying DCMI terms. Thus, any usage of the terms needs to be precise in its conformance with the RDF model and the domains and ranges of terms.
• While the specification/application need not explicitly encode data using URIs, it must be possible to infer the term URIs.
• Conformance with the specified domains and ranges of the terms is a requirement.
• Conformance with the sub-property semantics of the used properties.
• Conformance with the DCMI Abstract Model is not a requirement.
We find DCAM in Level 3: (see the document for the full description):
"Level 3: Description Set syntactic interoperability
This level corresponds to explicit use of the DCMI Abstract Model in the metadata.
• The metadata must be structured using the DCMI Abstract Model notions of Descriptions and Description Sets.
• The Statements in a Description must use the structure defined by the DCMI Abstract Model."
Richard J. Urban, Visiting Professor
School of Library and Information Studies
College of Communication and Information
Florida State University
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