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This report presents the results of a short project on the use of metadata (i.e., information that describes other information) to enhance the transparency of government in the Netherlands. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the risks and issues involved in introducing a nationwide standard for metadata to describe online government information in the Netherlands and to propose such a standard, based on the Dublin Core (DC) metadata standard, which has served as the basis for a number of similar initiatives in other countries. This report presents the results of our analysis, organized according to the three major phases in which the project was conducted. The first phase examined the needs of government information providers, to enable us to understand their concerns and what a metadata standard should offer them. The second phase examined the Dublin Core and a number of other national metadata standards, to enable us to understand their capabilities and limitations and to propose a discovery metadata standard for the Netherlands. The third phase explored implementation issues that had emerged in the first two phases.

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The research described in this report was prepared for Advies and funded by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and was conducted by RAND Europe.

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