Records Managers

NARA Transfer Guidance

The metadata elements and terms in this appendix are a subset of the Dublin Core Metadata Set v1.1.  This metadata “element set” provides a minimum list of metadata elements necessary for describing permanent electronic records.  This appendix provides definitions and usage examples of that element set metadata.

Additional elements called “terms” which may be used to refine the meaning of an element are also described here. The following elements have qualifying terms:  Identifier (FileName, RecordID); Rights (SecurityClassification, PreviousSecurityClassification, AccessRights, UsageRights); Coverage (SpatialCoverage, TemporalCoverage); and Relation (IsPartOf, HasPart).  These elements and terms are repeatable for an individual record, when applicable.  They are not intended to exclude or supplant any additional metadata captured and maintained with federal records.  Definitions of the metadata elements and terms provided here are adapted from the Dublin Core Metadata Set to support federal records management of permanent electronic records.

The vocabulary examples used in the table are not comprehensive.  NARA strongly encourages the use of controlled vocabularies, ontologies, data dictionaries, and standardized authorities, where applicable.

Identifier
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/identifier
Label: Identifier
Definition: An unambiguous reference to the record within a given context.
Comment: Recommended best practice to identify the record by means of a string conforming to a formal identification system.
Identifier [FileName]
URI: http://purl.org/dc/terms/identifier
Label: Identifier:FileName
Definition: The complete name of the computer file including its extension (if present).
Comment: Img001.jpg
Imes_64.shp
Captions_for_photographs.xlsx
Identifier [RecordID]
URI: http://purl.org/dc/terms/identifier
Label: Identifier:RecordID
Definition: The unique identifier assigned by an agency or a records management system.  CFR 1236.20 b1 requires that agencies assign unique identifiers to records. 
Title
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/title
Label: Title
Definition: A name given to the record.
Comment: Typically, a title will be a name by which the record is formally known.

Title
URI: http://purl.org/dc/terms/title
Label: Title
Definition: A name given to the record.
Comment: Typically, a Title will be a name by which the record is formally known.
Examples:

National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission Public Session
EO Systematic Review 30 JUN 2005

Description
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/description
Label: Description
Definition: An account of the record
Comment: Description may include but is not limited to: an abstract, a table of contents, a caption for a graphical representation, or a free-text account of the record.
Description
URI: http://purl.org/dc/terms/description
Label: Description
Definition: A textual description of the content of the record, including abstracts for document-like objects or content descriptions for audio or video records.
Comment:

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta introduces the members of the Commission at a May 24, 2006 press conference in Washington, D.C.

National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission Public Session
Creator
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/creator
Label: Creator
Definition: An entity primarily responsible for making the record.
Comment:

Examples of a Creator include a person, an organization, or a service. Typically, the name of a Creator should be used to indicate the entity.

Creator
URI: http://purl.org/dc/terms/creator
Label: Creator
Definition: The agent primarily responsible for the creation of the record.
Comment: Examples of a Creator include a person, an organization, or a service. Typically, the name of a Creator should be used to indicate the entity.
Examples: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
US Department of State
National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission
John Kerry Tommy G. Thompson
Usage: When there is a known individual creator use the individual’s name  [e.g. Adams, Ansel (Photographer)]

When the creator is collectively the federal agency, use the agency name [e.g.  Department of Education]
Date
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/date
Label: Date
Definition: A point or period of time associated with an event in the lifecycle of the record.
Comment: Date may be used to express temporal information at any level of granularity. Recommended best practice is to use an encoding scheme, such as the W3CDTF profile of ISO 8601 [W3CDTF].
Date [CreationDate]
URI: http://purl.org/dc/terms/date
Label: Date:CreationDate
Definition: The unambiguous date that the record was created.
Comment: Date may be used to express temporal information at any level of granularity. Recommended best practice is to use an encoding scheme, such as the W3CDTF profile of ISO 8601 [W3CDTF].
Examples:

August 1973
June 10,1970

FY 2004
Rights
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/rights
Label: Rights
Definition: Information about any rights or restrictions held in and over the record including access rights such as national security classification, Privacy Act, or Freedom of Information Act; or usage rights relating to copyright, trademark, or personally identifiable information.
Comment: Typically, rights information includes a statement about various property rights associated with the record, including intellectual property rights. 

Rights [Security Classification]
URI: http://dublincore.org/usage/meetings/2002/10/securityClassification.shtml
Label: Rights:SecurityClassification
Definition: The classification allocated to the resource indicating its official security status.
Comment: The purpose of this qualifier is to facilitate proper and appropriate management of sensitive or security classified records.
Examples:

Secret
Top Secret

Confidential
Rights [Previous Security Classification]
URI: http://dublincore.org/groups/government/profile-200111.shtml
Label: Rights:PreviousSecurityClassification
Definition: The classification allocated to the resource indicating its official security status.
Comment: Many official documents have their security classification reduced over time. The ability to search on current and previous markings allows a user to locate resources that have changed their classification.
Examples:

Secret
Confidential

Top Secret
Rights [AccessRights]
URI: http://dublincore.org/groups/government/profile-200111.shtml
Label: Rights:AccessRights
Definition: Legal or other rights an individual has to access the resource or that regulate the administration's right to release or provide access to the resource.
Comment: Contains information on the resource's status under any information access or privacy laws or regulation.

Note that this differs from, and may even conflict with, the official security marking given in the 'security classification'; refinement. For example an individual government officer may classify a document as 'secret' where the relevant 'access to information' legislation may regard the same document as one that should be made available to the public. 
Examples:

FOIA (b)(6)Personal Information
Restricted – Partly - June 10, 2003
Unrestricted – May 15, 2010

ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations)
Rights [UsageRights]
URI: http://purl.org/dc/terms/rights
Label: Rights:UsageRights
Definition: Information about copyright and trademarks rights held in and over the record.
Comment: Typically, rights information includes a statement about various property rights associated with the record, including intellectual property rights.  
Examples:

Copyright – 01/23/2010
Copyright – 01/2010

Copyright – 2010

RightsHolder
URI: http://purl.org/dc/terms/rightsHolder
Label: RightsHolder
Definition: A person or organization owning or managing rights over the record.
Examples:

Associated Press [copyright]
Northrop Grumman Corp. [copyright]

Federal Bureau of Investigation [Security Classification] 
Coverage
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/coverage
Label: Coverage
Definition: The spatial or temporal topic of the record, the spatial applicability of the record, or the jurisdiction under which the record is relevant.
Comment:

Spatial topic and spatial applicability may be a named place or a location specified by its geographic coordinates. Temporal topic may be a named period, date, or date range. A jurisdiction may be a named administrative entity or a geographic place to which the record applies. Recommended best practice is to use a controlled vocabulary such as the Thesaurus of Geographic Names [TGN]. Where appropriate, named places or time periods can be used in preference to numeric identifiers such as sets of coordinates or date ranges.

Coverage [SpatialCoverage]
URI: http://purl.org/dc/terms/spatial
Label: Coverage:SpatialCoverage
Definition: The geographic extent or scope of the content of the record.
Comment:

Spatial topic and spatial applicability may be a named place or a location specified by its geographic coordinates. A jurisdiction may be a named administrative entity or a geographic place to which the record applies. Recommended best practice is to use a controlled vocabulary such as the Thesaurus of Geographic Names [TGN]. Where appropriate, named places can be used in preference to numeric identifiers such as sets of coordinates.

References: [TGN] http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/tgn/index.html
Examples:

Los Angeles, California [digital poster]
Panama Canal, Panama [digital nautical chart]
Washington DC [GeoPDF map]

Athens (Clarke county, Georgia, United States, North and Central America) inhabited place [Geospatial TIGERfile]
Coverage [TemporalCoverage]
URI: http://purl.org/dc/terms/temporal
Label: Coverage:TemporalCoverage
Definition: The temporal extent or scope of the content of the record.
Comment:

Temporal topic may be a named period, date, or date range. Where appropriate time periods can be used in preference to numeric identifiers such as date ranges.

Examples:

5/31/2006 – 5/31/2008  [email.pst]
ca.2006  - 7/2013  [database output .csv file]

?/2006 – 12/2011  [email collection]

Relation
URI: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/relation
Label: Relation
Definition: A related record. 
Comment:

Recommended best practice is to identify the related record by means of a string conforming to a formal identification system.

Relation [HasPart]
URI: http://purl.org/dc/terms/hasPart
Label: Relation:HasPart
Definition: A related record that is included either physically or logically in the described record.
Comment: Recommended best practice is to identify the related record by means of a string conforming to a formal identification system.
Examples:

Shapefile compound record file (lmes_64_shp) has related individual parts: lmes_64.shp; Imes_64.shx; lmes_64_shp_xml.xml

Relation [IsPartOf]
URI: http://purl.org/dc/terms/isPartOf
Label: Relation:IsPartOf
Definition: A related record in which the described record is physically or logically included. 
Comment: Recommended best practice is to identify the related record by means of a string conforming to a formal identification system.
Examples:

Shapefile component file (lmes_64.shx) is part of a compound shapefile: lmes_64_shp
Attached file (FMC2013-045.pdf) is part of an email: FDA Memorandum Circular No. 2013-045.eml
Capstone email from an official (Smith_David.pst) is found in a case file management system scheduled elsewhere:  N1-370-90-3, item 1200 -01

Capstone email  from an official David Smith (Important.msg) is part of a pst container: Smith_David.pst

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