AbstractThis paper presents a streamlined metadata record format designed to support the permanence of network discoverable objects. It starts with the Dublin Core consensus and distills out a subset of four semantic buckets – a metadata kernel – that balances the needs for adequate identification of persistent objects and for low cost metadata generation. To minimize the burden of creating, understanding, and manipulating data in those buckets, a very simple record format has been designed, called an Electronic Resource Citation (ERC). The basic ERC can be parsed by two lines of Perl code. Beyond permanence support, the ERC design suggests quite a new path for the ongoing development of simple metadata; readers familiar with the current evolutionary challenges may find the ERC to be simpler, and yet more complete, compact, extensible, and international than the Dublin Core.
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