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OSU Library Metadata: A Guideline to Best Practices: Relation

This site provides guidelines for OSU's local implementation of CDP Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices Version 2.1.1


Label: Relation
Maps to Dublin Core Element Name: Relation
Maps to MARC field (in World Cat): 76X – 78X
Mandatory: Optional, but recommended
Repeatable: Yes

Refinements: Use one of the following refinements to explain the nature of the relationship between the described resource   (i.e., the resource being described by the metadata record) and the related resource being referred to in the Relation element. The refinement is included in the element encoding; do not repeat it in the element value.

Refinement Name Refinement Label Comment
isVersionOf Is Version Of The described resource is a version, edition, or adaptation of the referenced resource. Changes in version simply imply substantive changes in content rather than differences in format.
hasVersion Has Version

The described resource has a version, edition, or adaptation, namely the referenced resource.

isReplacedBy Is Replaced By The described resource is supplanted, displaced, or superseded by the referenced resource.
replaces Replaces The described resource supplants, displaces or supersedes the referenced resource.
isRequiredBy Is Required By The described resource is required by the referenced resource, either physically or logically.
requires Requires The described resource requires the referenced resource to support its functionality.
isPartOf Is Part Of The described resource is a physical or logical part of the referenced resource.
hasPart Has Part The described resource include the referenced resource either physically or logically.
isReferencedBy Is Referenced By The described resource is referenced, cited, or otherwise pointed to by the referenced resource.
refereneces References The described resource references, cities, or points to the referenced resource.
isFormatOf Is Format Of The described resource is the same intellectual content of the referenced resource, but presented in another format.
hasFormat Has Format The described resource pre-existed the referenced resource, which is essentially the same intellectual content presented in another format.
conformsTo Conforms To A reference to an established standard to which the resource conforms.


Scheme Name Scheme Label Definition
URI URI Uniform Resource Identifier


Dublin Core Definition - Relation

A reference to a related resource

Comment/Context: Relation

Recommended best practice is to reference the resource by means of a string or number conforming to a formal identification system.

The element contains information necessary to show a relationship with another resource. A relationship may be multidirectional (i.e., a record may reference one or more other related resources). There may also be a one-directional relationship, even though a refinement may exist to show reciprocity (e.g., the use of Relation [Requires] does not necessitate the use of Relation [Is Required By] in another record). The relationship may be one of intellectual content variation (Is Version Of/Has Version), part-to-whole (Is Part Of/Has Part), citation/reference (References/Is Referenced By, Conforms To), substitution (Replaces/Is Replaced By), format variation (Has (Format/Is Format Of), or dependency (Requires/Is Required By).

Input Guidelines: Relation

  1. Use separate Relation elements to enter multiple relations or clearly separate each entry by a semicolon followed by a space (; ) within an element.
  2. A resource may relate to another resource in a variety of ways that can be described by using more than one Relation element. For example, the same resource can be a part of a larger resource while simultaneously containing a smaller resource within itself; it can be a more recent version of one resource and be superseded by another. A resource can be a different version of another resource, or contain the same intellectual content as another resource, but be in a different format.
  3. Include sufficient information in the Relation element to enable users to identify, cite, and either locate or link to the related resource.


Examples: Relation

Relation [Refinement]

Relation Entry


Relation [Is Version Of]

Second ed.

Another edition of same work

Relation [Is Part Of]

Library Journal v. 127, no. 9 (May 15, 2002) p. 32-4

The described resource is the article and nothing else

Relation [Is Part Of]

Jack and Charmian London correspondence and papers,1894-1953. Utah State University Special Collections & Archives, MSS COLL 10


Relation [Is Part Of]

Frank Waters Papers, University of New Mexico General Library


Relation [Is Version Of]

Adaptation of the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller


Relation [Has Version:]

Collection of recorded fairy tales read from various sources including: Babar the King (New York: Random House, 1935)


Relation [Is Part Of]

E-journal article from Library Hi-Tech v. 20, no. 2 (2002) p. 137-140 m/vl=6724010/cl=22/nw=1/r psv/cw/mcb/07378831/v20n



Relation [Is Format Of]

Digital reproduction of the poster Wildflowers Amuk, City Museum of Wildflowers, New York.


Relation [Is Format Of]

Digital reproduction of Diary of a Physician in California from microfilm version by University Microfilms, 1971 as part of American Culture Series II, reel 450, pt. 19.


Relation [Is Format Of]

Transcript of oral history interview with Nellie Tayloe Ross at the Business and Professional Women’s Club (Washington (D.C.)), 1938


Relation [References]

American Culture Series II

The described resource is an index to the series

Relation [Is Referenced


The New Sabin, v. 1, no. 333. ISBN 0878750495


Relation [Replaces]

Western States Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices, version 1.2, January 2003


Relation [Is Replaced By]

Western States Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices, version 2.0, April 2004


Relation [Requires]

Adobe Acrobat Reader, version 6.0


Relation [Requires]

Windows Media Player, RealPlayer or Apple QuickTime


Relation [Is Part Of]

Mesa Verde Black-on-white kiva jar (Vessel 25)

Record for an image of the jar’s lid, the lid is part of the overall pottery piece

Relation [Conforms To]

Encoded Archival Description, Version 2002

Record for an archival finding aid encoded as EAD XML