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Author: Marie Thompson, Art Library Section
English translation by Denise Loiselle, National Gallery of Canada Library

March 2005
Objective of this document

The objective of this document is to compile the complete set of description rules for entering records in the Imageline database in order that all participants can use it as a reference tool. It will be updated as guidelines are developed and made accessible permanently on the network. Minor changes to this document are validated by the project manager and his/her assistant. More important modifications are validated by the whole group of participants.

The main rules are brought to the attention of the participants on a page created for that purpose.

History of versions:

0.1 5 July, 2004 First draft

1. Imageline : overview

To do

Summary: objectives, methods, actors
2. What resources to select for Imageline?

2.1. Targeted audience

The audience targeted by Imageline is the academic and research community, as well as the general public and the professionals who share the same fields of interest.

2.2. Main criteria: high value of resources for the targeted audience

The selection is based primarily on the value of the resources for the targeted audience.

Resources of average value are not selected

2.3. Value of resources: quality, usefulness, reliability.

The selection criteria are quality, usefulness (in terms of the presumed needs of the targeted audience) and reliability of the resources’ intellectual content – notably, accurate information, frequency of updates,etc.

2.4. Evaluation methodology

The usual standards in the field are used to obtain a reasonable guarantee of quality: evaluation of the authors’ and publishers’ reputation, use of one’s field of expertise, use of reviews written by specialists in journals (or in Internet resources already known for their quality), presence, pertinence and accuracy of references to other works, etc. In this context, Internet documents are considered to be like any other documents.

The technical quality of resources must also be taken into consideration as much as possible (readibility, ease of navigation, reliability of research tools on the site, page loading speed, availability of server, etc.). Authors will be responsible for weighing these technical criteria against the intellectual quality of the content. For example, in the case of printed documentation, a bad image quality might or might not be detrimental to a good intellectual work. It is not possible to formulate a general rule for weighing these criteria.

2.5. Quantity is not an objective of Imageline

Quantity is not one of the objectives of Imageline , much less exhaustiveness.

2.6. An institution’s reputation is not a selection criterion in itself.

The sole fact that an institution is renowned is not sufficient for its site to be included in

Imageline . The selection criterion is the quality of the site’s actual content.

2.7. Language is not a criterion

No language is excluded. However, it must be noted that languages that have nonroman script will be romanized. ( Question: Investigate??)

2.8. Unit of description: site or service

The unit of description is preferably the site, or the service, defined as autonomous intellectual or editorial units. Description at page or chapter level will be limited.

Question: For example, www.bnf.fr is a site. Each one of the virtual exhibitions included in the site is a service. They are, in effect, all independent units from an editorial point of view, created by a specific team, with a specific layout; they are independent from a browsing point of view, with a specific home page; and also in terms of the content, the project being independent from the rest of the site. Therefore, each could be the subject of an independent record. ( Investigate?)

In unclear cases, which are not rare, a decision will be made in the best interest of the users, while also keeping in mind the directory, which must remain as coherent as possible in this respect.

A few criteria to identify a "service": independent browsing system in relation to the rest of the site, autonomous responsibilities, independent content, independent management, home page identified as such, specific graphics, specific address (e.g. gallica.bnf.fr, instead of the general address www.bnf.fr), etc.

2.8.1. Possible compromise concerning this rule.

When it appears necessary to point to a particular section because, for example, it is of an exceptional quality compared to the rest of the site, or because the rest of the site is irrelevant, it is possible to bend the rule concerning the autonomous unit of description: the main link is always on the home page of the site or the service, but a secondary external link is provided, pointing to the desired section (using the elements of the Secondary link towards another section of the resource described ), and it is the description of this secondary link which actually constitutes the essential part of the text in the record.

Nevertheless, the Description field must always provide a description, however brief, of the site containing the section. When this field is left blank, no record can be activated.

2.9. Categories in Imageline

I mageline proposes a collection of resources that are:


quality controlled

presumably used regularly

An effort is thus made to select visual resources needed by art historians.

Records are generally reviewed every three months.

2.10. Disqualifying criteria

According to the documentary policy of Imageline , the selection of a resource is generally based on the authors’ evaluation. However, a resource having one of the following characteristics cannot be selected for I mageline .

2.10.1. Resources which provide fee-based access only.

A resource whose access is entirely fee-based should not be selected. A substantial part of the resources selected must provide free on-line access.

2.10.2. Resources that do not conform to the law

Resources that do not conform to the law, especially in terms of copyright.

When in doubt, particularly for personal sites, look for photo credits or other credits. It is also easy to ask the authors for a confirmation by email. An author’s refusal to provide information must lead to the elimination of the resource. Imageline must not mention sites which break the copyright law. Of course, this does not reflect an extremist attitude, but a wish to avoid drawing attention to resources that are obviously or seriously breaching the law.

2.10.3. Resources lacking disclosure of responsibility

Resources with no explicit disclosure of who is responsible, whether an author or editor, must be carefully examined before being included in Imageline.

2.10.4. Ethical problems

Even though this is not, strictly speaking, a disqualifying criteria, special attention must be given to resources with ethical problems, for example, in terms of a disputable commercial activity, or an activity likely to offend the user. Such problematical cases should be directed to the administrator and all the authors, so that a kind of precedent can be established and recorded in the present manual.
3. Formatting in Imageline : recommendations and guidelines

Recommendations specific to certain fields will be found in the section "Resource records: field by field definitions and rules".

3.1. Formatting of free-text fields

A certain number of fields can be formatted:


Description of internal secondary links and Description of external secondary link

The formatting (bold, italics, insertion of hypertext and image links) will be defined.


No formatting in the Title fields

In the Description fields, the cited titles should be in italics

3.2. Reread an entry before submitting it.

Reread with correct spelling and grammar in mind.

Verify that the URLs are working.
4. Resource records: field by field description and rules

4.1. List of mandatory fields in the resource records

The following fields are mandatory in the resource records. If they are left blank, it will be impossible to activate the record (the system will not validate it):

Record number (automatic)


Author (Investigate??)


Description (in at least one language)

Subject (in English)

Dewey (Investigate??)



Data on images

Main URL

Record activation

Responsible for the record

Record creation date (automatic)

Frequency of record verification

Record expiry date (automatic)

Question: Are the following fields "mandatory in respect to functionality"?, i. e, it is technologically possible to enter and publish the record even if these fields are blank, but they will have to be filled later for the database to be coherent. (See section "Description guidelines in Imageline : who does what?")

When the field is repeatable, the examples presented in this manual use the slash as a separator.

This will have to be updated as soon as the system defines a separator.

4. 2. Record number

Mandatory. Non- public. Non- repeatable. Automatic.

Each record has a number, and only one, generated sequentially by the system. It cannot be changed.

4.3 . Title and Alternative title fields

4.3.1. Title

Mandatory. Public. Non-repeatable

The proper title is selected, exactly as it appears on the home page of the site or service (in its own language, including typos, if any). The definite article (the, a, an, die, el, las…) is part of the title.

This element, besides being objective information for the user, is often necessary in order to find, with the search engines, a resource that has moved to another address.

If no title can be identified or used, create a fake title in square brackets, describing the resource’s content.

The sub-title is indicated in this field and not in the Alternative title field.

4.3.2. Alternative title

Optional. Public. Repeatable.

The alternative title is a substitute, or an alternative, to the main title. It could be, for example, a translation, a short or usual form, or an abbreviation of the main title. The definite article (the, a, an, die, el, las…) is part of the alternative title.

The sub-title, on the other hand, is included in the Title field.

4.4. The Author(s) and Alternative form(s) fields

4.4.1. A few conventions for the author’s identification

According to the norm, the author is "a person or collectivity responsible for the intellectual or artistic content of a document". This definition will be used as well as possible when applying it to particular cases. Besides, to our knowledge, there is no rule defining the preferred source concerning the name of an Internet resource’s author. Trust your judgment. However, let us suppose that:

• the name of the author cannot be found in an electronic address.

Fkoi@domaine.org is not an author,

neither is webmestre@domaine.org ,

nor jules.durand@chezmoi.org

• a site’s webmaster is not its author, (even if the same person can be both).

• in the case of institutional or commercial web sites, the institution or business will be considered to be the author. e.g The author of the Bibliothèque nationale de France is: Bibliothèque nationale de France..

– A resource which does not indicate who is responsible does not meet the selection criteria

for Imageline . Anonymous sites may therefore be deleted. 1

Question: In the rare cases where the notion of author is irrelevant, should there be a "Not relevant" field? This would mean that the field is mandatory???

4.4.2. Writing conventions concerning authors

When there are more than three authors, it is possible to indicate in the Author(s) field (name of collectivity or family name): "Multiple authors".

Question: To be validated: we can add more ; must we limit ourselves? (This is a conventional library approach)

In Imageline , there is no distinct notion of secondary author; the Author(s) field is also used for secondary authors, if necessary.

There is no indication of the author’s function (photographer, engraver, etc.) ;

Question: To be validated: the author’s function could be indicated in brackets, after the name. Will the list of authors be displayed or will we only propose a search by author key word? Provide an abbreviated list, or a reference for using the same terms, in which language?

Even if there is no list of authors implemented in the database, the standardized practices are good practices, and it is highly recommended that we conform to them to keep the database coherent.

If there are national authority records , we should refer to them, particularly for corporate authors (for French, the CD-Rom BnF-Autorités or BN-Opale Plus). If there is a standardized form, it should be used as is.

Question: Give examples for other languages.

The names in nonroman script will be romanized.

Question: Investigate?? (according to the chosen system)

4.4.3. Writing conventions concerning specifically the personal authors

For a specific personal author, only one form of his/her family name can be indicated. Other forms will be indicated in the Author(s): alternative forms field.

For compound names, names with a particle, use or non-use of articles, see recommended standards for each author’s country.

French norms: AFNOR Z 44-061 and Z 44-062

e.g.: Authors

4.4.4. Writing conventions concerning specifically the corporate authors

For corporate authors, alternative forms (acronyms, translations…) can be indicated in the Author(s): Alternative forms field.

French norm: Z44-060



Author(s): (Muséum national d’histoire naturelle (Paris). Biblioth P que centrale

Language: keep the country’s language


Author(s): Koninklijke bibliotheeck (Netherlands)

(And not Royal Library of the Netherlands).

Acronyms: indicate the expanded form in the Author(s) field , except when the expanded form is never used. Indicate the other form in the Author(s) alternative form(s) field.

e. g..


Organizations or international collectivities: Indicate the English form in the Author(s) field, and the other forms in the Author(s) alternative form(s) field..

e. g.


4.4.5. Author(s) field

Mandatory (or recommended?). Public. Repeatable.

For detailed information on the author’s identification and writing conventions, see above.

4.4.6. Author’s alternative form

Optional. Public. Repeatable

Use only after filling the Author(s) field with the main form of the author’s name.

4.4.7. Electronic address of the resource’s author

Optional. Non public. Repeatable.

Question: Investigate??

It is recommended that the electronic address of the resource’s author be indicated. This administrative data will make it possible to:

– send the new record or a significantly modified record to the resource’s author; we hope that in certain cases at least, the author will point out eventual omissions or errors, as well as important updates.

– contact the author in case of past technical problems (if, for example, the resource has disappeared, or the server is off-line)

4.5. Publisher

Optional. Public. Repeatable.

The Dublin Core describes the publisher in this manner:

"The entity responsible for the distribution of the resource, in its actual form, i.e., a university department, a company."

The notion of publisher is not without difficulties on the Internet. In practice, it is useful and recommended that a publisher be mentioned when this information might make sense to the user and facilitate the evaluation of the resource.

For example, a resource that is available to the public on the web site of a university that is renowned in the same field, has more credibility than if it were published on a personal site ( "Images de France", for example). This is useful information to provide. Moreover, it is in conformity with the traditional notion of publisher, as adopted by the Dublin Core.

But a resource is sometimes simply located on a particular server without its content being supported by the server’s owners. In that case, the host or the supplier of disk space is not the publisher.

In the case of institutional sites, the author, the title and the publisher are generally homonyms: the BnF site has the BnF both as author and publisher.

Questions: Should we mention twice, even if it makes the record unwieldy and does nothing for the user, or repeat?

4.6. Category

Mandatory. Public. Repeatable.

The list of categories is to be developed. It will make it possible to standardize the description of the type of resource being described (image database, digital virtual exhibition, printed document, etc.)

Question: Start a list for an appendix?

4.7. Description

Mandatory. Public. Non-repeatable.

All resources must have a description which is brief but sufficient for the user to have an idea of what he/she will find. This information must be verified as far as possible. (Do not take the publisher’s statements for granted.)

The description will be provided in at least one language, preferably the language of the site. It is recommended that it also be provided in English. Descriptions can also be added in the other languages of the database.

In the description:

— Repeat the nature of the resource (printed document, portal, etc.)

— Describe the thematic scope of the resource or its content.

— Give geographical or temporal scope of the resource, if necessary.

— Data dimensions and volume, if this information is available 2 .

— Resolution(s), image quality, reproduction capabilities, etc.

— If necessary, indicate the frequency of updates, including approximate information such as "frequent updates", for example. Creation and/or publication dates.

Indicate the computer format of the data or the access protocol. This is mandatory for documents that are not HTML and accessible by HTTP, otherwise unnecessary. For example, if a resource is completely or partially in.pdf or.doc format, it should be indicated. It should also be indicated if a resource is accessible by a protocol other than http (telnet, ftp. etc.)

Indicate as well, if necessary, the technical devices that can help the user: text only version, navigation tool in the site (index, search engine…).

Question: give examples for images.

In some cases, a navigation method could be recommended, if it can help the user’s search.

Give additional information on the resource creators (authors, contributors, publishers) if it is useful.

If much of this information is unavailable, or if it is unclear, it is not a good sign, and must be considered a negative point for the resource.

When writing the description, care should be taken to clearly distinguish between objective information and subjective evaluation. The latter is not excluded, since Imageline is a critical bibliography. However, it must be remembered that what is said in Imageline is said on behalf of the Art Library Section.

We should avoid a promotional tone ("All about…", "A must see", etc.).

Question: Are negative critics permitted? If they are, tact should be exercised !

Indicate briefly the reason why you selected the resource, if it is not obvious from the information stated above.

If the evaluation is based on a critical review, this fact can be stated. (According to Choice, 1997, vol. 34 Supplement)

Be aware of the implicit: the user is not not necessarily aware of the eventual renown of an author or his work. As well, an institution or a work may be famous in one country but not known as such by the user of another country.

Avoid redundancy by using fields in Imageline that give certain additional information instead of giving an unstructured description. For example, if a resource is accessible by registration only, say so in the Reserved Access field, and not in the description.

4.8. Subject: supplied heading

Mandatory (in English). Public. Repeatable.

The Subject heading follows the rules of a national vocabulary. Indexing must be done in English as well as in the resource language, if other than English.

Indexing is done by the author. To ensure consistency, the English version can be reviewed by the person responsible for the database.

When a new word is created, a message is sent to the the persons responsible for the vocabulary in each language and they will add translations in the different languages used.

Question: Deal with mapping here or somewhere else?

Vocabulary to be used:

English: LCSH

French: Rameau

Question: Validate (AAT?) and complete for other languages.

4.9. Dewey classification

Mandatory. Public. Repeatable.

In order to be compatible with Renardus, the Dewey classification will be indicated.

Question: Mandatory? Not everyone knows…Must not slow down access.

4.10. Language(s)

Mandatory. Public. Repeatable.

The Language(s) field indicates the language(s) of the resource described.

A language is taken into account only if it represents a substantial part of the resource’s text. (A French site containing a brief outline or an introduction in English is therefore not considered bilingual.)

If the site is bilingual, both languages will be mentioned.

e. g.

Language(s): Eng /Fr.

If the site is in more than two languages, it will be indicated as "multilingual" (the term exists in the languages table). It is mandatory to mention "multilingual" as well as the other languages.

e. g.

Language(s): mul / Fr / Eng / Ger

Question: must be filled in code form, according to the international norm ISO 639-1, available at this address: http://www.lcweb.loc.gov/…/bibcodes.html

4.11. Country

Mandatory. Public. Repeatable.

The Country field, defined in Renardus, indicates the publisher’s country, not the country where the server is located.

It follows the international standard ISO 3166-1, available at this address:


Particular cases, corresponding in Renardus to codes not defined by ISO 3166-1:

— If the resource has more than three publishing countries, or if it published by an international organization, indicate: International . However, the codes for each country can also be added.

If the resource is linked to the European Union as an institution, indicate: European Union .

If the information has not been found, in spite of extensive research, indicate: Unknown.

If the information is irrelevant (the resource cannot really be considered a publisher), indicate: Not relevant

In principle, the information "Not relevant" will not be shown in the database, while the information "Unknown" will be shown.

These codes are used as extensions to the list of ISO codes:

International: ZZ

European Union: XE

Unknown: XX

Not relevant: YY

4.12 Data on images

Mandatory. Public. Non-repeatable.

The data indicates the characteristics proper to image databases. These characteristics are coded Y (Yes) or N (No).

They are given in many different fields.

Question: Should these codes Y/N be mandatory? They do not require too much work and they are directly related to the images…which are at the heart of Imageline !

4.12.1 Illustrated database

Mandatory. Public. Non repeatable.

An illustrated resource will be indicated with a Y code. An N code will indicate that the resource is not illustrated (thus pointing out bibliographical databases which describe images but do not have illustrations).

Question: What code should be used when the database is partially illustrated? P?

Any comment on the database should be indicated in the Description field.

4.12.2. Presence of labels

Mandatory. Public. Non-repeatable.

In the case of illustrated databases, the code Y will indicate the presence of labels reproducing the original document, the code N will indicate that there are no such labels.

4.12.3. Image enlarging capacity

Mandatory. Public. Non repeatable.

If the image can be enlarged, it will be indicated with the code Y. More detailed information on image resolution will be given in the Description field.

4.12.4 Digital watermarking

Mandatory. Public. Non repeatable.

Digital watermarking of images will be coded Y. When there is no digital watermarking, the code N will be used.

4.13. ISBN

Optional. Public. Repeatable.

This information will be used for the description of printed works. Although,currently, it is used very rarely for electronic resources, it should become more frequent.

Syntax: enter the numbers in the following manner:


4.l4. URLs: main URL, alternative URL, mirror site – Secondary links and their description

4.14.1. For all URLs, use copy/paste

Do not type the URLs: use copy/paste in the address window of your navigator.

Exceptions: Some URLs, computed on-the- fly, are misleading. For example, the BN-Opale Plus address is NOT

http://catalogue.bnf.fr/framesWeb.jsp;$sessionid$(This is the URL shown in the address window at the start of the session and it will cease to be valid at the end of the session), but http://catalogue.bnf.fr
In this case, copy/paste should be avoided.

After entering a record, verify that the links are working.

4.14.2. Main URL

Mandatory. Public. Non-repeatable. 3

On which page to point?

Always point to the home page of the site or service, and not to a section. (See Unit of description: site or service above)

The home page is chosen by the publisher. It is usually possible to determine which is the home page by analyzing the URL and the layout. Otherwise, the webmaster should be consulted. On multilingual sites, notably, the publisher’s decision takes precedence over language considerations. In principle, the home page is the most reliable entry on the site, especially for updates.

e. g.:

American directories, as a helpful measure to their users, used to point towards the English version of the Bnf site, which was practically never updated , thus directing them towards unreliable information.

In Imageline , sections or versions in different languages of the same site will be indicated in the field Secondary links to another section of the resource described .

The master site should be preferred to its eventual mirror sites. Analyzing the URL often makes it possible to detect mirror sites. These should be indicated whenever possible, but in the Mirror site field.

e. g.:

Some attention is required to determine which is the mirror site and which is the master site when looking at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/, and http://perseus.csad.ox.ac.uk/". But the numerous references to the Tufts University in the home page should serve as a warning that the British site is a mirror. In any case, it is better to verify.

Which address should be selected for a particular destination page?

A resource sometimes has many "synonymous" URLs which all lead to the same page.

It is often possible to distinguish between an "official" URL and alternative URLs which are provided for various reasons by the authors of the resources (for example, shortcuts or mnemonics). In this case, the official URL, in theory more reliable and durable, must be indicated in the Main URL field.

It is sometimes useful to indicate the alternative URLs (or some of them) to the users; in which case the Alternative URL field will be used.

Choose the shortest possible URL, but give priority to the "official" URL when it can be identified.

4.l4.3. Alternative URL

Optional. Public. Repeatable.

For the definition of the alternative URL, see the section Main URL above.

Question: To be investigated???

4.14.4 Mirror site

Optional. Public. Repeatable.

A mirror is a site which is a copy of another site, or which contains a copy of another site’s files, thus allowing access to those files when the original server is overloaded, or is located on the other side of the planet.

When a site has multiple mirrors all over the world, they should be mentioned, in order to enable the user to choose the nearest ones.

A mirror does not have the same degree of reliability as the original site. There are numerous examples of mirrors which are not updated at the same time as the original site. It is therefore important to distinguish them from the original sites, whose URL must be indicated in the Main URL field..

In some cases, it is impossible to determine which is the original site. Select the site which is nearest to the resource described.

4.14.5. Secondary link to another section of the resource described.

Optional. Public. Repeatable.

This field allows the creation of a link to a page other than the home page of the resource. It contains a URL.

It must be associated to a Description of the external secondary link field.

Question: To be investigated??

Either it is possible to include links in the description, in which case it will not be necessary to have a specific field for secondary links, or if it is not possible, it will be necessary to have secondary links fields and associated description fields.

4.14.6. Secondary link to another resource.

Optional. Public. Repeatable.

This field allows the creation of a link to a resource different from the one described in the record. It contains a URL.

This field can be useful, for example, to compare this resource with the resource described in the record, to support a statement contained in the description, or to give a reference.

It must be associated to a Description of the external secondary link field .

4. 14. 7. Secondary link to a record in Imageline.

Optional. Public. Repeatable.

This field allows the creation of a link to another record in Imageline .

Question: Which identifier? ( to be updated when we have the system)

This field can be useful, for example, to establish a comparison between this resource and the resource described in the record, or to support a statement included in the description…

It can be optionally associated to a Description of the internal secondary link field.


In a description of the site "Mémoire" of the Ministére de la Culture de la Communication ( France), we also want to point towards Gallica, digital database of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, also described in Imageline.

4. 14. 8. Description of the external secondary link

Public. Must be a Description of the external secondary link field and only one per Secondary link to another section of the resource field and per Secondary link to another resource field.

Very brief description, with possible exceptions.

4.14.9. Description of the internal secondary link.

Public. Optionally a Description of the internal secondary link field and only one per Secondary link to a record in Imageline field.

Very brief description, with possible exceptions.

4. 15. Technical requirements

Optional. Public. Non-repeatable.

The technologies necessary to consult the site will be indicated. Commonly used technologies, such as a navigator – will not be specified.

Question: Should examples be given? What is necessary to consult a Japanese site on Japanese prints, sites containing videos?

4.16. Conditions for access

Optional. Public. Non-repeatable

There are two aspects to this information, in two different fields:

4.16. 1. Free access

The site will be coded Y (Yes) if it is free and N (No) if fees are required for some or all contents of the site.

Question: Should information be encoded or not?

4.16.2. Reserved access

If necessary, there will be a description of the specific terms and conditions of the resource: mandatory registration, any type of restrictions, use of a password, etc.

4.17. Copyright

Optional. Public. Non repeatable.

Indicate here if the material may be used free of rights, otherwise indicate who owns the copyright of the images. Whenever possible, information should be given on where to obtain reproduction rights.

Questions. Check Renardus !!!

4.18. Managerial comments

Optional. Non-public. Non-repeatable.

These comments are meant to keep track of the work done or to be done, and to facilitate communication between actors working on the same record.

Generally speaking, when working on a record for which they are not responsible, participants should describe briefly in this field all the modifications that they have made.

Signature of comments is requested.

A new comment is indicated above the preceding ones.

Existing comments are not deleted ; they constitute the record’s history.

e. g.:

When a key word has been modified by a participant who is not the author of the record, in order to keep it consistent with the whole vocabulary of the database.

4.19. Record activation

Mandatory. Non-public. Non-repeatable.

4.19.1. General procedures

This scroll list indicates the record status and allows its modification.

The records with an Active status, and only those, are visible to the public as soon as they have been given this status. On the other hand, records being transferred from the Active status to any other status disappear from the public interface after the change has been made.

Question: What is the delay? The day after? The same day? It depends on the status, but what are the minimum requirements?

Question: Will every participant in Imageline be able to work on this list? It won’t be locked? However, if different rights are given to different actors, the rules mentioned below will have to be respected.

4.19.2. The different record statuses.

The different statuses are: To be validated – Active – Expired – Archived – Suppressed – Rejected.

To be validated

A newly created record has this status by default.

In principle, only the author of the record can give it an Active status and thereby make it available to the public.

If an author gives the Suppressed status to a newly created record (for lack of time to finish it, for example), he should give it the Active status when he decides to make it available to the public.


The Active status means that the record is available to the public.

When a record is given the Active status, it means that it has been verified and is in accordance with the rules of Imageline . It is a deliberate action, normally taken by the author of the record.

The Active status can only be given to a record after the mandatory fields have been filled.


A record must be verified at regular intervals. When this has not been done, the record automatically gets the Expired status and ceases to be published.

When an Expired record has been verified, it must be given the Active status to be published again.


An Archived record is one that is withdrawn on purpose, after it has been decided that it should no longer be published. It is kept for history purposes.

The Archived status must not be used to put aside a record in progress. When a record has been archived, its content can no longer be accessed and internal links between records in the database will have to be frozen.

The Archived status may be attributed automatically to a record if the Date archived field has been filled. This allows the automatic elimination of records related to ephemeral resources, such as virtual exhibitions, for example.


The Suppressed status makes it possible to keep an incomplete record. It also allows the temporary removal of a record corresponding to a resource which is momentarily unavailable, for example.


The Rejected status means that the resource was evaluated, and that it was not deemed suitable for inclusion in Imageline . This is a way to keep track of resources examined, and to let all actors know of the activities that have not resulted in the inclusion of a resource in Imageline .

There are various reasons for rejecting a resource: the fact that it has a record in the Rejected database does not necessarily mean that it is mediocre, it only means that it has been evaluated but not accepted, and that we want to remember the work that was done and the decision that was reached.

In order for this record to be useful, the reason for rejecting the resource should be clearly stated.

A record will never be deleted.

Question: Think of the de-duplication which occurs, in principle, when we want to create a new record? In this case, all types of records are considered.

4.20. Author responsible for the record

Mandatory. Public. Non repeatable.

Every record is the responsibility of one and only one author, even when several participants share the writing and the updating of the record.. The person responsible will be mentioned in the following manner:

Name, surname (email)

The author identified in the record is responsible for:

–making sure that the record is coherent and complete (even if some parts have not been written by him)

–making sure that the record is verified regularly for coherence and completeness

–verifying if the modifications to the record, which are emailed to him, are acceptable

When a problem arises about a record, it will be the person responsible for that record who will be contacted and who will have to solve the problem.

Question: Should the name of the institution be included with the name of the person responsible?

Questions: For co-creations, if they exist, should there be a field called Other creators ?

4.21. Record creation date

Mandatory. Non-public. Non-repeatable. Automatic.

This field is automatically filled the first time that the record is given the To be validated status and cannot be modified later.

Question: Should a new resource be identified as such (including in a list resulting from a search) by a New icon, starting on the creation date and for a period of two months (or more)?

Question: Should there be a New category?

4.22. Date of last modification of the record.

Mandatory if applicable. Non public. Non repeatable. Automatic.

This date is modified each time there is an action on the record, whatever it is, except when the date of the last verification is modified.

Make sure that the last verification date cannot be modified manually.

4.23. "Significant modification"

Optional. Public. Non repeatable.

The box "Significant modification" makes the public aware that a resource record has been modified in a manner that justifies another reading of the record.

This is an arbitrary decision, left to the author’s judgment. It has three consequences for the user:

– the record has a New icon for a period of (two) months, in all the pages where it appears.

– the record is indicated for a period of (two) months in the New page

– the Date of last significant modification field is updated (this is a public field).

4.24. Date of last significant modification

Mandatory if applicable. Public. Non-repeatable. Automatic.

This field corresponds to the last date when the box "Significant modification" has been checked. It is from this date that the display period of the New icon is calculated.

4.25. Frequency of record verification

Mandatory. Non public. Non repeatable.

Every record in I mageline must be verified periodically, otherwise it will no longer be published.

By default, the verification frequency is three months.

Question: To be validated ! How is this to be indicated? In clear? Coded?

This frequency will vary according to the resources described.: it is well known that some resources are very stable and others very moving (e. g. virtual exhibitions), and therefore they should not be treated in the same manner. In certain cases, it will be possible to modify that frequency manually.

4.26. Date of the last record verification

Mandatory if applicable. Public. Non-repeatable. Automatic.

A record must be verified at regular intervals.

The date of the last verification is that of the last "click" on the Verified button. This means that on that date, the person responsible for the record believed that the data was accurate and that there was no need to make significant modifications.

4.27. Record expiry date

Mandatory. Non-public. Non-repeatable. Automatic.

This date is calculated automatically by the system, using the Frequency of record verification and the Date of the last record verification .

After the expiry date, the record has an Out of date status and ceases to be published.

4.28. Date of (automatic) record archival

Optional. Non-public. Non-repeatable. Automatic.

This field allows the automatic transfer of a record to the Archived status. On the indicated date, the record is automatically withdrawn from publication and archived.
5. Responsibilities of the the different participants in Imageline and network ethics

5.1. Overview and network ethics

The I mageline database is very open: all participants may act on most publishing elements, whether they are in charge of these elements or not. This should greatly facilitate the enrichment of the data and the sharing of expertise.

Most elements can be modified by any participant.

However, every database element is under the responsibility of an individual participant and only one, the person in charge of the database being responsible for the coherence of the whole and acting whenever necessary. This system of responsibilities and controls functions by means of email alerts which are sent whenever an element has been modified by a participant other than the person responsible for it.

In other words, if author "A" modifies a record which is under the responsibility of author "B" (for whatever reason: enrichment, addition of a translation in the Description field, correction of a spelling error, etc.), author "B" is invited, by an automated email, to verify that the modification is acceptable.

A few rules of network ethics

If a participant modifies a record for which he is not responsible, he should state briefly in the Management comments field what he/she has done, then add his/her signature and the date. This will allow other contributors to understand what has been changed.

If the change to be made is important, the contributor should contact the person responsible for the element and ask for his/her agreement.

Question: Should there be a kind of log that records all activities in the database, making known who contributed, on what and when?

5. 2. Authors’ responsibilities

Each author creates, updates and controls independently the records for which he is responsible. He/she is in charge, within the accepted standards, of:

– the selection of the sites, following the guidelines described in I mageline

– the description of the sites, according to the rules of the present manual

– the rereading and "scientific" validation of the records

– the update of the records and the external hypertext links

5. 3. The authority controller’s responsibilities, by language

For each language present in the database, someone will be in charge of the controlled vocabulary in the language for which he/she is responsible. Whenever a key-word is created, he/she will receive an email and will then have to propose and record a translation in the subject headings.

5.4. Responsibilities of the database administrator

The database administrator and his/her assistant are in charge of the following tasks:

• investigate the necessary developments and notify the authors

• monitor the coherence of the database, particularly the subject headings (subjects, typologies)

• submit all significant developments to the authors for validation

• control the technical coherence of the whole and administer the database

• make sure that the common rules on documentary policy are respected

• prepare the IFLA permanent committee’s report

• develop conditions for initial and ongoing training of authors

• keep the participants database up to date

• establish contact with other institutions committed to, or interested in, similar tasks (e.g. a study on the integration of Imageline in Renardus)

• ensure technical and strategic supervision

Question: Should there be a "virtual" writing committee? Perhaps too much to manage and the committee is, in fact, the whole group of authors.

5.5. Responsibilities of the host institution

• The institution which will host Imageline on its web site will be responsible for publishing the records online.

• The institution will act as often as necessary to make sure that Imageline and all the online services are co-ordinated, particularly from a technical point of view.
6. Activities in the Imageline database: who does what?

6.1 Resource records, other than subject indexing.

The resource records are created by the authors.

6.2. Indexing

The author of a record may propose and therefore create new Subject headings in the fields: Subjects: supplied heading. In this case, the indexing is controlled afterwards by the administrator. He then activates an email system to warn the persons responsible for Subject headings in the other languages that the Subject headings list must be updated.

6.3. Participants database

Database management.
7. References

• Éléments de métadonnées du Dublin Core, Version 1.1: Description de Référence. Traduction: Anne-Marie Vercoustre, Inria. Creation date: 20 April 2000 http://www-rocq.inria.fr/…/DC-fr.1.1.html

• Dublin Core Qualifiers. 2000-07-11 http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmes-qualifiers/

• International Standard ISO 3166-1 (Names of countries) http://www.din.de/…/fr_lstpl.html

• Chapter 12. ISBN and other title identifiers:
In the ISBN Users* Manual, fourth edition.Berlin, September 1999

• URN namespace registration for ISBN Juha Hakata juha.hakala@helsinki.fi Wed. 30 Aug 2000 08:18:00+0300
(This is an Internet draft, with no authority as such. I did not take the time to search thoroughly to see if it had been replaced. However, there is little risk of surprises on the URN ISBN, which can be guessed at, and which is confirmed by this draft)
8. Appendices

8.1. How to find new resources?

Instructions on how to discover new resources will be found in the section "Resource discovery" in the excellent DESIRE Information Gateways Handbook: http://www.desire.org/handbook/2-2.html (in English). See particularly the sub-section "Resource Discovery Strategies for Staff".

1 An institutional or commercial site without a signature is obviously not an anonymous site. The title serves as a statement of responsibility.

2 Be aware that to indicate figures in a rapidly evolving site is to make a commitment to update them frequently and this could prove to be a heavy task. When figures are useful, and they often are, it would be prudent to write, for example, "several tens of thousands of images". This information will be accurate for a longer period than exact figures.

3 NB: In Renardus, the URL field is repeatable, but the repetition means that there are versions of the site in different languages. Be aware that in many cases, the different versions differ considerably. There usually is a master version.