About the project
The Application Profiles Support project was funded by JISC from 15th September 2008 until 28 February 2011 to support the practical use of application profiles, including Dublin Core Application Profiles (DCAPs) as part of metadata solutions for real, identified information problems in the higher education sector in the UK.
In that time it has demonstrated that metadata solutions, including the kind of tailored, local solutions that we call application profiles, need to be informed by the practical problems in running real systems. There is an inherent danger in producing cross-sector solutions without close reference to these software systems and their immediate requirements, which can frequently lead to the waste of high-level technical effort in developing ideal metadata structures that are often found to be difficult or impossible to implement in real software services. The Application Profiles Support project sought to bring practitioners and developers together in order to address actual user requirements, which are often highly specific to local circumstances and particular resource types.
What are application profiles?
Application profiles (APs) are in essence metadata vocabularies built from terms drawn from pre-existing metadata schemas and adapted for the needs of a specific application or resource type, and may also define a structure upon which information about a resource is organised.
The project aimed to co-ordinate the further development and implementation of application profiles in both repositories and other services aimed at web delivery of the relevant resource types. It also aimed to investigate the potential benefits of a common core metadata set and entity model in terms of interoperability, which it found to be an unproductive approach to practical metadata solutions because of the sheer variability of local requirements and types of resources. It investigated the feasibility of complex metadata models in institutional repositories for acquiring and maintaining high quality metadata, and found that, in general, unless there is good reason to use complex models, they generally stand in the way of the adoption of interoperable metadata standards across the sector, particularly in terms of the delivery of Web resources.
The project also sought to inform and develop good practice, and to study the possible uses of application profiles more widely through engagement with the user communities and domain experts. It maintained a particular focus on practical engagement with repository managers and the developers of the major repository platforms. These functions will be continued by the Metadata Forum, organised by Stephanie Taylor of UKOLN.
If you have a question, suggestion or comment about the outcomes of the project please contact Talat Chaudhri.