Rescinded [2012-03-31] - TBITS 39: Treasury Board Information Management Standard, Part 1: Government On-Line Metadata Standard
Date modified: 2009-04-09

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1. Reference

1.1 Name

  • Government On-Line Metadata Standard

1.2 Identifier

  • TBITS 39.1

1.3 Category

  • Standard

1.4 Effective date

  • November 8, 2001

1.5 Approving authority

  • Treasury Board of Canada

1.6 Maintenance

  • Chief Information Officer Branch. Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat

1.7 Cross index

1.8 Other relevant [ISO] standards

1.9 Other relevant specifications

2. Purpose

This standard adopts the Dublin Core as specified at as the core metadata standard for resource discovery. Metadata is necessary to support navigation, searching, information sharing and interoperability goals of Government On-Line. Establishing a metadata standard will ensure that, across domains and clusters and business functions, the effort that goes into assigning metadata is coordinated, cost effective and client-service focused. Adopting a metadata standard as the core which can be extended or mapped to for specific subject domains or purposes preserves high level consistency and interoperability. The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set is a set of descriptive semantic definitions. The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set was created to provide a core set of elements that could be shared across disciplines or within any type of organization needing to organize and classify information.

3. Application

In accordance with Common Look & Feel Standard 6.3, all GoC web sites must use metadata to describe web resources.

The elements Title, Creator, Language, Date and Subject are mandatory. Additional Dublin Core elements such as Coverage or Relation are optional.

In accordance with Common Look and Feel Standard 7.8, the mandatory elements that make up the metadata for any given Web page must correspond to the page's official language.

Dublin Core metadata should be applied to the following resources:

  1. Welcome pages and Home pages (defined as the major entry point to an institution or those distinct organizational units where there is likely to be a public perception that they stand alone);
  2. Topics/services in high demand by the community that the institution serves (this can be based on usage statistics but may also include topical or publicized resources with potential public interest);
  3. Information required by the public to understand their entitlements to government assistance or obligations;
  4. Pages that provide an actual on-line service to the public (such as payment forms, application forms etc);
  5. Pages required to meet a prescribed legal or service obligation by the institution;
  6. Entry points to specific online services and indexes (e.g. an entry point to a legal database);
  7. Major formal publications (e.g. annual reports, corporate strategic plans, public policy and accountability documents etc);
  8. Media releases;
  9. Major entry points or indexes and menus to a range of closely related topics, programs or policies;
  10. Information about agency powers affecting the public, and manuals and other documents used in decision-making affecting the public; and
  11. Substantial descriptive or marketing information about institutions, their services, activities and collections.

4. Definitions

structured data about data used to aid the identification, description, location or use of information resources.

5. Qualifications


6. Implementation

Software and systems acquired by the Government of Canada in order to create, edit, generate, parse, harvest, extract, index, browse, or display metadata for Web resources must support Dublin Core or be modifiable to support Dublin Core. These provisions are effective 2001-10-25.

7. Specifications (reference to external standard adopted)

This standard adopts the Dublin Core as specified at

8. Government working group

Government On-Line Metadata Working Group


  1. Beaudoin, Suzanne, Public Works and Government Services Canada
  2. Belanger, Guy, Human Resources and Development Canada
  3. Boyko, Ernie, Statistics Canada
  4. Brodeur, Jacques, Canadian Heritage
  5. Brodie, Nancy, Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat (Chair)
  6. Brooks, Diane , Indian and Northern Affairs
  7. Brunas, Shane, Statistics Canada
  8. Clarke, Rachel, Indian and Northern Affairs
  9. Cowan, Peter, Industry Canada
  10. Crouse, Diane, Consulting and Audit Canada
  11. Curley, Sharron, Public Works and Government Services Canada
  12. Côté, Marie-Claude, Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
  13. Dale, Diana, Canadian Heritage
  14. Day, Penny, Public Works and Government Services Canada
  15. Donoghue, Jerry, National Archives
  16. Dulude, Pierre, Canadian Centre for Management Development
  17. Fontaine, Nora, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  18. Gauthier, Ron, Environment Canada
  19. Gnassi, Bruno, Public Works and Government Services Canada
  20. Graves, Jenifer, Canadian Centre for Management Development
  21. Habib, Jean, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
  22. Herbert, Lynn, Human Resources and Development Canada
  23. Hill, Laurie, Statistics Canada
  24. Hjartarson, Fay, National Library of Canada
  25. Kouri, Bev, Natural Resources Canada
  26. Lilleniit, Roselyn, National Library of Canada
  27. Martin, Joan, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Saskatoon
  28. Miller-Gatenby, Katherine, National Library of Canada (Secretary)
  29. Naufal, Janice, Natural Resources Canada
  30. Porrett, Barbara, International Development Research Centre
  31. Redmond, Brian, Public Works and Government Services Canada
  32. Seed, Gary, Public Works and Government Services Canada
  33. Séguin, Lucie, Environment Canada
  34. Salloum, Colette, Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency
  35. Somerton, Cecil, Fisheries and Oceans
  36. Steele, James, Human Resources and Development Canada
  37. Tozer, Paula, Environment Canada
  38. Zeeman, Deane, Finance/Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat
  39. Zongora, Catherine, National Archives of Canada

9. Where to Obtain Copies

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