The DataCite Metadata Scheme has been updated, and the schema and accompanying documentation are now available in Version 2.1. The Schema is accessible at this location: http://datacite.org/schema/datacite-metadata-v2.1.xsd. The documentation is here: http://datacite.org/schema/DataCite-MetadataKernel_v2.1.pdf

Several early adopters and other careful readers generously provided us with feedback regarding the details of the specification. As a result, we were able to make a number of improvements. The most significant change to the schema is that it now includes a namespace, which provides OAI PMH compatibility.

The documentation changes may be less significant, but we hope they add clarity. A new column in the properties tables provides guidance as to whether the property being described is an attribute or a child of the corresponding property that has preceded it. In addition, in response to a request, we gave one of the allowed values lists (the relationType pairs) a thorough overhaul.

I’d like to add my personal thanks to the Metadata Working Group members who helped review these changes, to the technical experts from our member institutions who provided advice, and to our Metadata Coordinator, Frauke Ziedorn, for everything she does, including keeping track of the feedback we get from community members.

On another note, a small team from the Metadata Working Group will begin working in April on a second version of the schema that is interoperable with the Dublin Core. Please stay tuned for more information on this development as it unfolds.