The Dublin Core Format Element

Nota Bene: It is highly recommended that the user of this document read the Introduction to obtain a fuller understanding of Dublin Core and its implementation.


The Dublin Core format is used to distinguish text documents from graphics (e.g. GIFS). This is limiting for text documents because there is only one name for text, which is text. If the searcher were looking for a specific type of document, for example a poem, he sould have to search the Dublin Core Resource Type Element. On the other hand, the searcher could specify a search for JPEGs, GIFs, etc. This would be very helpful to know because not all computers can't read the different types of images that are bombarding the Web.

IMT (default)
DC language
Standard ISO 639
(IMT synonym)

Like the DC Resource Type Element, the DC Format Element does not have a TYPE qualifier specified for it. IMT, or Internet Media Type, is synonymous with MIME (Multipart Independent Mail Extensions). Examples of the DC element are:

<META NAME="DC.format" CONTENT="(SCHEME=IMT) text/html">
<META NAME="DC.format" CONTENT="(SCHEME=IMT) image/gif">
<META NAME="DC.format" CONTENT="(SCHEME=IMT) image/jpeg">
<META NAME="DC.format" CONTENT="(SCHEME=IMT) text/ascii">

There are others, but these are the most commonly used formats by Web authors. A breakdown of the data (text/html) is rather simple. The text is a broad description of the "type" of data found in the document. The html is a "sub-type" that provides a more specific description of the "type" (Knight, Hamilton, 1996). That is all of the information Web authors really need to know, everything else can be left up to the information scientists to figure out.


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Copyright ©1997 by Guy Frost
Last Updated October 21, 1998