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Overlapping of activities is becoming a serious issue; in the field of metadata registries thereís already quite a few playing on the same European ground.

Projects starting with small focus group are expanding, some of them are struggling with limited resources and, of course, popularity of users. No doubt that some of them have decided to share the burden. From now on Schema registry, MetaLib and Dublin Core Metadata Observatory are going to work closer together to maximise their capacities to provide exhaustive service for a boarder audience.

Schemas has dual dedication to provide a forum for metadata schema designers in Europe and to inform schema implementers about the status and proper use of new and emerging metadata standards. Metadata Watch reports help designers to use what is already there, preventing them from reinventing the wheel.†

The Schemas registry design is on a good way. The intention of this registry is to publish 'namespace schemas' and 'application profile schemas', as well as information about projects, standards, tools and guidelines. Distinction between 'namespace schemas' and 'application profile schemas' has been discussed. Itís been suggested that a namespace schema contains all elements defined for a particular namespace, it is an entity itself. An 'application profile' is a schema identifying the use of elements from one or more namespaces in a particular application, with additional constraints. [1].†

The technical basis for the Schema registry will be RDF Schemas and open source software, EOR-toolkit, which is being developed. Be aware to check the registry in March for some new implementations at

Schemas have send out a questionnaire on User requirements Guidance material. If you react immediately you can ask the questionnaire of Juliana Faure at

MetaLib Metadata Server at the State and University Library at Gottingen, Germany (SUB) has a couple of registry activities based on Dublin Core under investigation. One of them is called MetaLib with MetaGuide, which is a gateway to information resources on metadata issues, and Metaform, a database for metadata formats with a special emphasis on the Dublin Core and its manifestations as they are expressed in various implementations. This initiative is not limited on European standards, but operates on international level focusing on library and science-sectors. Needless to mention; Schemas and MetaLib share certain interests, and combining them could be of great benefit to both of them.†

Moreover CEN MMI-DC workshop has planned a web based European Observatory focusing the relationships between Dublin Core and other metadata activities. All these three activities mentioned above will elaborate in the future.†

Another registry activity recently emerged is called SWAG, the Semantic Web Agreement Group. The intention is to create a strong infrastructure for the Semantic Web and work with various members of the Web community to ensure that data remains interoperable.†

SWAG's current focus is the compilation of the SWAG Dictionary and the creation of new vocabularies. They invite those who are interested in helping to catalog, define and connect the terms of the Semantic Web to join SWAG and assist in their work. Subscribe to the SWAG development list by sending a blank email to

There are other interesting European activities, like DESIRE registry focusing on the development of a European Service for information on research and education. Also Dublin Core builds and manages their own important vocabularies. These projects don't necessary overlap, but offer a different perspective for an existing problem. As Rachel Heery states 'Some may want to be scoped by 'content considerations', such as to concentrate on a particular subject domain (e.g. eduacational metadata schemas), some may be interested in 'publishing' the schemas in use a particular regional area.'

An example o
utside of Europe is Alberta Library in Canada. They are in the process of designing a web-based metadata registry for the purpose to provide information about metadata implementations in the province of Alberta, Canada. The idea is to promote the sharing of metadata expertise in the Alberta community with a longer-term view toward interoperability and project collaboration.



Author: Riina Vuorikari
Web Editor: anja balanskat
Published: Tuesday, 30 Jan 2001
Last changed: Wednesday, 14 May 2003
Keywords: metadata, schemas, MetLib, SWAG, Desire