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8. Details of Individual Metadata Elements

8.12 Compound Record Links




Identifying Attributes




Compound Record Links

Defined by

Government of Canada Records Management Metadata Standard - compoundRecordLinks

Element URI

[To be actioned by Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat before publication]

Definitional Attributes


Identification of linkages of the constituent parts of a record.


To identify the constituent parts of a record.

To preserve the relationships between/among all constituent parts of a record.

To ensure a complete record may be reconstructed.


"As well as the content, the record should contain, or be persistently linked to, or associated with, the metadata necessary to document a transaction, as follows: … c) the links between documents held separately but combining to make up a record should be present." ISO International Standard 15489-1, s. 7.2.1

"In order to define the content of the record or any aggregation, its logical and physical structure and its technical attributes, and in order to document the relationships that records may have between each other, metadata about the record should…m) document the links between records or between an individual record and the broader record aggregation of which it is a part." ISO Technical Specification 23081-1, s. 9.2.1

"Metadata about records should accrue on an ongoing basis. These metadata will define changes in the logical and physical structure and technical attributes of the record, as well as describe new contexts in which the record is used. It should also document new relationships with other records or aggregations." ISO Technical Specification 23081-1, s. 9.2.2

Value Domain

Unique non-enumerated strings.

Datatype Name



Applicable at record level only.


Mandatory, if applicable.

Relational Attributes

Encoding Scheme






Conditions of Application - Record


Free text


Pre Record Declared Locked

Post Record Declared Locked





Conditions of Application - File







Comments and Guidance

a) Explanation of Definition/Usage

This element is for building compound records. Without this element, it would be impossible to create a complete record for processes like e-mails. In such cases, the body of the email must be linked to its constituent parts (i.e. its attachments) in order to ensure the complete record is captured, preserved and can be reconstructed.

This element is best intended for records that are automatically and intrinsically linked.

b) Best Practices

Recommended best practice is to record the Identifier of each of the constituent parts of the compound record.

Once the record is locked, the value is not modifiable since it is needed to ensure that the entire record can be reconstructed. Before the record is locked, the user can modify the value by means of deleted or adding constituent parts, e.g. by breaking a link to one graphic and linking to another.

c) Obligation

This element is mandatory, if applicable, in order to build a complete record of a business transaction.

d) Default Values/Auto-populate

This element is auto-populated by the EDRMS and intrinsically links emails within an EDRMS.

e) Linkages

This element is linked to Identifier as it provides the unambiguous identification of a record.

f) Examples

  1. "12345", "78932" - A person receives an e-mail with two attachments and enters the email with its attachments into the EDRMS. The EDRMS will create the required links between the body of the e-mail and the two attachments by means of recording the Identifier of each of the attachments.

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