Digital publishing is rapidly spreading into different publishing domains, at present especially within the academic world and among government and municipal bodies. For libraries that have started collecting and organizing this digital material it is obvious that it is much more time consuming and complicated to handle these kinds of resources than the traditional ones — if bibliographic data are not delivered together with the resources.

The absolute majority of these resources are text documents, and like traditional resources, the absolute majority of them carry bibliographic data — they have a title, they have an author or it is made clear which organization has issued the text. The context of the text, when and where and by whom it has been produced, can usually be derived from information scattered over the document. The bibliographic information is there, but it is not explicit and cannot be efficiently exploited.


The charge to the working group is:

To recommend guidelines for those who create, share and manage metadata: elements, tools, formats, protocols

The working group will be guided by the following principles: The guidelines are envisaged as high level guidelines, meaning:

  • they should serve as a pivot for semantic mapping, that is, they should serve as a data element dictionary to which different communities may map their own sets of bibliographic data
  • they should serve as guidelines on how to arrange the bibliographic data in a text document
  • they should not prescribe any specific tagging system, but
  • they should serve as a model against which different tagging systems may be measured, and
  • they should be easy to adopt in at least the most commonly used text editing programs
  • they should define a set of attributes for things like language, script, capitalisation practice, etc., to facilitate further processing

Project Plan

The working group was established in 2005 under the name Working Group on a Bibliographic Standard for Digital Text Documents. 

In 2006, the name was changed to Working Group on Bibliographic Recommendations for Digital Text Documents and in 2007 to Working Group on Metadata for Digital Objects.  The working group will present its final report prior to the 2008 conference in Québec for action by the standing committee of Cataloguing at that conference.



  • Erik Thorlund Jepsen (chair)
    Biblioteksstyrelsen (Danish Library Agency)
  • Françoise Bourdon
    Bibliothèque nationale de France
  • Anders Cato
    Kungl. biblioteket (National Library of Sweden)
  • Erik Oltmans
    Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library, Netherlands)
  • Miriam Säfström
    Bibliotekstjänst, Sweden
  • Marit Vestlie
    Nasjonalbiblioteket (National Library of Norway)

Former members

  • Gunilla Jonsson
    Kungl. biblioteket (National Library of Sweden)