The purpose of the GC RMMS is to define the semantics of each element to ensure interoperability.
The GC RMMS employs an alphabetical listing of elements in order to promote flexibility in the combining of elements and the interpretation of relationships among elements. It is a "flat" set in that it does not invoke parent-child (i.e. hierarchical) relationships or nesting (i.e. sub-division) of elements. All elements are considered to be at the same level. Institutions may wish to group elements in various ways in order to emphasize themes or functionality unique to their environments. However, all 50 elements must retain their status of element and one element must not be subsumed or placed under another, for example, in a parent-child (i.e. hierarchical) relationship.
Additional information about the elements may be found in the GC RMAP.
The GC RMMS adopts seven Dublin Core descriptive metadata elements, namely, Creator, Description, Identifier, Language, Subject, Title and Type. By adopting the Dublin Core elements, the GC RMMS acknowledges that the semantics of the seven elements are useable within a records management domain and hence, alleviates the need to declare locally defined descriptive elements. Each is described in Section 6 using the format employed by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. In the GC RMAP, the seven Dublin Core elements are defined by the Dublin Core namespace.
In some instances, the names of elements declared within the GC RMMS appear to be synonymous with other Dublin Core elements (e.g. GC RMMS Data Format and DC Format) or element refinements (e.g. Access Rights); however, the GC RMMS elements are used for records management administration or management, and hence cannot adopt the semantic of the Dublin Core descriptive elements.
The lowerCamelCase12 convention used to format the names of GC declared elements is based on best practices recommended within the Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat, Government of Canada Metadata Implementation Guide for Web Resources and on syntactical rules for the construction of element names within XML.
The names of Dublin Core elements are under the ownership and authority of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative and are integrated as is into the GC RMMS.
The character strings representing the element names must remain immutable. This is especially important for translating the human readable GC RMMS document into a machine readable format (e.g. XML) and for ensuring interoperability. Changing the characters in element names will result in unpredictable behaviour in software applications.
12. The practice of writing multiple words together without spaces to form one word with the first letter of each of the multiple words capitalized. In lowerCamelCase, the first letter of the compound word is in lower case.