The 1:1 Principle in the Age of Linked Data

Richard J. Urban


This paper explores the origins of the Dublin Core 1:1 Principle within DCMI documentation. It finds that the need for the 1:1 Principle emerged from prior work within the cultural heritage community responsible for describing reproductions and surrogate resources within traditional cataloging environments. As the solutions to these problems encountered new ways to model semantic data, tensions arose within DCMI community. This paper aims to fill the gaps in our understanding of the 1:1 Principle by outlining the conceptual foundations that led to its inclusion in DCMI documentation, how the Principle has been (mis)understood in practice, how violations of the Principle have been operationalized, and how the fundamental issues raised by the Principle continue to challenge us today. This discussion situates the 1:1 Principle within larger discussions about cataloging practice and semantic knowledge representations.

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