The DSpace Community Advisory Team (DCAT) has published the results of the user survey on the metadata support of DSpace. The results have shown that there is a need for readjustments based on the Dublin Core Metadata scheme, which is the most relevant for the DSpace user. The DCAT has pointed out several toDo’s for the DSpace Developers and community:
- Add metadata authority controls/vocabularies to the data model. Since there is an existing add-on for controlled vocabularies, DCAT interprets this to mean that we should open up the rights to use a controlled vocabulary and possibly link it from an external source. Some examples would be the National Agricultural Library (linked open data) and the National Library of Medicine (subject based).
- Update the Qualified Dublin Core registry to the current DCMI standards, adopting the newer DC Terms namespace as an evolutionary step over the 15 original elements in the dc namespace. Based on the community survey, DCAT also recommends that the default configuration should separate out standardized DC metadata, administrative metadata and local customizations into distinct metadata schemas. Repository administrators would be prevented from modifying the standardized DC metadata which would effectively break compliance. Instead, local modifications would be accomplished in a separate metadata schema.
- Enhanced the metadata available for Community, Collections and Files (bitstreams). Unlike Items, Collections, Communities and Files (bitstreams) currently do not have Dublin Core metadata associated with them. The community has expressed an interest in making the available descriptions more granular.
- Simplify and make local customizations more accessible by bringing more functionality into the user interface or metadata registry. This could also include a utility to import/export metadata to a schema other than DC. Some community members expressed an interest in exposing the RDF triples. In addition, DCAT recommends a comprehensive tutorial on how/where to perform specific metadata schema tasks be developed.
- Explore the implications of offering hierarchal metadata in DSpace and whether it makes sense, given the DSpace/Fedora integration work. Hierarchal metadata would allow for relationships between community/collection/bitstream metadata. Because Fedora metadata is not stored in the database, as it is in DSpace, but in files, the relational aspect functionality in Fedora is more flexible. It is hoped that the DSpace/Fedora integration work would take advantage of Fedora’s flexibility. DCAT proposes that the community explore the implications/reasonableness of a separate effort on hierarchal metadata in addition to the DSpace/Fedora integration.