2 Glossary of Selected Terms and Acronyms


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This is a glossary of selected terms and acronyms.
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Time-based media: items such as films, videos and sounds which play over time.
Item: describing a unique thing in a collection, a record or a resource, equivalent to a book or a journal.
Metadata: information about an item, but not the item itself; e.g. for the image below:
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Metadata Describing this item
Author: H R Bowers
Date: 1910-1913 : British Antarctic Expedition (Terra Nova)
Title: Scott’s party at the South Pole with Amundsen’s tent in the background.
Description: Scott’s party at the South Pole. From left to right, Scott, Oates, Wilson, Evans
Copyright: Royal Geographical Society
Location: South Pole (-90N, 0E)
Tags: Scott, Oates, Wilson, Evans, South Pole, Antarctic, Terra Nova
Format: JPEG image
Size: 37kB
Acknowledgement: Scott’s party at the South Pole with Amundsen’s tent in the background. © Royal Geographical Society.
URL: http://edina.ac.uk/purl/eig2/rgs.S0000236.jpg
Scott's party at the South Pole with Amundsen's tent in the background. © Royal Geographical Society.
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Thumbnail: a small version of the original image[i].
Aggregation: collection of different sources into a (possibly unorganised) whole, e.g. a library catalogue collects all bibliographic items in a library or group or libraries.
API: Application Programming Interface, that facilitates interaction between different software programs, such as to request and receive metadata.
HE: Higher Education.
FE: Further Education.
URI: Uniform Resource Identifier, a string of characters used to identify a resource.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator, a URI that specifies where an identified resource is available and the mechanism for retrieving it.
RDF: Resource Description Framework, provides a lightweight ontology system to support the exchange of knowledge on the Web.
RDF triple: a statement about a resource in the form of subject-predicate-object, where the subject is a resource, the predicate denotes traits or aspects of the resource and expresses a relationship between the subject and object. For example for the image above, the image (subject) has the title (predicate) “Yawning Lion” (object).
Semantic Web: provides a common framework that allows data (including metadata) to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries. It is a collaborative effort led by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and is based on RDF[ii].
Linked Data: the collection of inter-related data available on the Web in a standard, reachable and manageable format, whose relationships are also made available.
SPARQL: an RDF query language (SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language).
OAI-PMH: Open Archives Initiative – Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, a low-barrier mechanism for repository interoperability.
OAI-ORE: Open Archives Initiative – Object Reuse and Exchange, standards for the description and exchange of aggregations of web resources.
XML: Extensible Markup Language, a flexible way to create common information formats and share both the format and the data using web protocols.
IPR: Intellectual Property Rights.
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[i] Note that a thumbnail is not typically considered as metadata as it cannot be harvested by a protocol like OAI-PMH that provides only text. However, the URL in the metadata can be harvested so the thumbnail may be displayed from its source server without the user realising it is in a different place.
[ii] “The Semantic Web, Linked and Open Data”, page 2, http://wiki.cetis.ac.uk/images/1/1a/The_Semantic_Web.pdf (Accessed 07/09/10)

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