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Metadata provides information about the content, quality, condition and other characteristics of data.

Within the context of learning, education and training, metadata is structured data used to describe the characteristics of a learning resource, a data object or a component of a learning technology system.

By using BS 8419, developers and managers in the UK can benefit from guidance on the use of metadata. The effective creation, structuring and deployment of metadata can maximize opportunities for interoperability with other systems.

BS 8419 makes recommendations about data models and XML bindings enabling searches across multiple systems over the internet for application profiles, but it does not prescribe the use of any particular encoding mechanism. It is intended to optimize, rather than completely remove, human interaction in the transfer of information between systems.

Part 1 provides recommendations for any organization creating application profiles of international metadata standards for use in relation to teaching and learning. It gives guidance on the development and reuse of application profiles, and for the use of application profiles where interoperability is a requirement.

It focuses on the two application profiles currently in use in the UK:

  • The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative’s (DCMI) Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (DCMES) described in BS ISO 15836.
  • The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ standard for Learning Object Metadata (LOM) described in IEEE 1484.12.1-2002.


1 Scope
2 Normative references
3 Terms and definitions
4 Purpose of application profiles
5 General principles for application profiles
6 Gathering requirements for an application profile
7 Identifying appropriate schemas
8 Selecting data elements for an application profile
9 Specifying rules for data elements
10 Implementing an application profile
11 Disclosing new data elements
12 Testing the conformance of a metadata instance to a metadata standard
13 Evaluating and refining an application profile
Annex A (informative) Example use cases for an application profile — Curriculum Online
Annex B (informative) Standards and specifications
Annex C (informative) Application profiles (UK and international)
Annex D (informative) Taxonomies and vocabularies (UK and international)
Annex E (informative) Expressing metadata schemas and application profiles

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