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Mimas Metadata for the DNER

Project Summary

Start DateEnd DateDuration Funding BodyProgramme
May 2001April 200212 months JISCJISC Services DNER: Z39.50/Authentication


Project Objective

Project Highlights

Project Results

Mimas is a national UK data centre which provides networked access to resources to support learning and research across a wide range of disciplines. There was no consistent way of discovering information within this cross-domain, heterogeneous collection of resources, some of which are access restricted. Further these resources must provide the interoperable interfaces required within the JISC 'Information Environment'.

To address these problems, consistent, high quality metadata records for the Mimas services and collections have been created, based on Dublin Core, XML and standard subject classification or encoding schemes. Future maintenance of this metadata will be performed by Mimas service support staff, who have approved and thus ensured the quality of the metadata.

The XML metadata repository, or 'metadatabase', provides World Wide Web and Z39.50 search interfaces, as required for interoperability within the Information Environment. The software platform for the metadatabase is the Cheshire II information retrieval system. As part of the project the functionality of Cheshire has been enhanced to provide sorted results following a search. Experience and requirements from the project have been fed back into continuing Cheshire development. The data mappings to Z39.50 and the XML Document Type Definition are available from the project web pages.

The Mimas Metadatabase, which is freely available, provides a single point of access into the disparate, cross-domain Mimas datasets and services (http://metadata.mimas.ac.uk/). It provides a means for researchers to find and access material to aid in the furtherance of their work, thus assisting in the advancement of knowledge. Learners and their teachers will be able to discover appropriate learning resources across the Mimas portfolio, improving the educational value of these datasets.

There will be some continued development of the Mimas Metadatabase as part of the 'follow-on' project Implementing the DNER Technical Architecture at Mimas (ITAM). This will include some enhancement of the metadata, improvement to the metadata creation and update process, and additional interoperable interfaces, in particular Open Archives Initiative for metadata harvesting.

More information about the project is available from the project pages.

27 June 2002

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