Abstract and Table of Contents

If abstract is a sample of about-ness, then a table of contents is sample if is-ness. Some have said that journal articles should not have table of contents (instructional staff at the UNT program teaching the Metadata I course). I disagree, but so does Habing, et al (2001). Sometimes more than an abstract a table of contents can deliver a substantial understanding of what an article is and is about by displaying its structure. In fact many law review articles actually include a table of contents prior to the main part of the article. Law review articles can be over 70 pages in length. An outline offers useful information to the potential reader.

An example of an outline from a linguistics article.

Roberts, David. 2011. “A Tone Orthography Typology.” Written Language & Literacy 14 (1): 82–108. doi:10.1075/wll.14.1.05rob.

  1. Introduction
  2. The six parameters
    2.1 First parameter: Domain
    2.2 Second parameter: Target
    2.2.1 Tones
    2.2.2 Grammar
    2.2.3 Lexicon
    2.2.4 Dual strategies
    2.3 Third parameter: Symbol
    2.3.1 Phonographic representations
    2.3.2 Semiographic representations
    2.4 Fourth parameter: Position
    2.5 Fifth parameter: Density
    2.5.1 Introduction
    2.5.2 Zero density
    2.5.3 Partial density
    2.5.4 Exhaustive density
    2.6 Sixth parameter: Depth
    2.6.1 Introduction
    2.6.2 Surface representation
    2.6.3 Deep representation
    2.6.4 Shallow (transparent) representation
  3. Conclusion
    Bibliographical references


Thomas G. Habing, Timothy W. Cole, and William H. Mischo. 2001. Qualified Dublin Core using RDF for Sci-Tech Journal Articles. https://dli.grainger.uiuc.edu/Publications/metadatacasestudy/HabingDC2001.pdf

Dublin Core in HTML pages

Dublin Core is sometimes inserted into in the HTML header for search engine optimization purposes. I am very curious to know which search engine are being optimized for with the inclusion of DC metadata in the HTML header. Google clearly sates they don't use keywords anymore. Some argue that dublin core tags are different than keywords and therefore google might still be using them. As far as I know the specifics are a trade secret that Google hasn't made public. If anyone knows more on this please let me know in the comments.

I do know that Google's search engine scholar.google.com runs via a different bot and crawl process and does use some DC tags for identification. They have a sub-dialect of tags and have added some non-standard (not true dublin core) tags to what they expect. — how rude and presumptuous of Google... But Google Scholar is the only search engine I know about looking for Dublin Core metadata in HTML. If anyone knows of another one I'm very keen to know about it.

Bing sunset their academic/scholar service. My understanding is that when it was running, it was just one bot that crawled the data and then they filtered the single crawl to create the academic materials product this is a different approach than Google is taking.

Here are some interesting links on Dublin Core in the headers: