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Glossary of Terms

Formal definitions of terms used frequently by Europeana and our Network

Some of these terms have a legal definition that is used in agreements that form the Europeana Licensing Framework. Where this applies, the legal definition is provided with additional clarification as required.

Initial capital letters are used here to show terms that are defined elsewhere in the glossary. When used in normal text, the only terms that should be capitalised are: Data Exchange Agreement, Europeana Data Model, Europeana Licensing Framework, Europeana Semantic Elements and Linked Open Data.

Access: The ability to view a Digital Object or Metadata that is available online.
Guideline: A User has Access when they can view a Digital Object online.

Aggregator: An organisation that collects, formats and manages Metadata from multiple Data Providers, providing services such as offering their own Portal and acting as Data Provider to Europeana.

Collection: A set of Metadata that has been intentionally‐defined at an institutional or thematic level.
Note: This can be used as an alternative to Dataset.

Content: A physical or Digital Object that is part of Europe's cultural and/or scientific heritage, typically held by a Data Provider.
Note: You can use the terms Content and Digital Objects interchangeably.

Data Exchange Agreement: The agreement that governs the exchange of Metadata (including Intellectual Property Rights) between Europeana and its Data Providers.

Data Provider: An organisation that contributes Metadata describing Content that it is offering online.
Note: This should be used instead of Content Provider or Provider.

Dataset: An administrative unit representing a suitable amount of Content or Metadata for ingestion or download.

Digital Object: A digital representation of an object that is part of Europe's cultural and/or scientific heritage. The Digital Object can also be the original object when born digital.

Europeana API: The Europeana API (Application Programming Interface) is a web service which provides remote access to the Europeana collections, allowing you to build applications, websites and mash-ups that include a customised view of Europeana Metadata and Content.

Europeana Data Model (EDM): The data model developed by Europeana that specifies the format of the Metadata that can be submitted, ingested and published via the Europeana Portal and Europeana API.
Note: More information at on our EDM documentation page

Europeana Licensing Framework: The framework of agreements, guidelines and terms and conditions that facilitates the supply, exchange, access to and use of Metadata and Content via Europeana.

Europeana Portal: The access point to the Metadata records aggregated by Europeana.

Europeana Semantic Elements (ESE): The Metadata standard developed by Europeana, now superseded by the Europeana Data Model.

Freely Re-usable Content: Digital Objects that are available for re-use with minimal or no conditions, specifically those objects labelled Public Domain, CC0, CC-BY and CC-BY-SA.

Ingestion: The process of collecting, mapping and publishing the data from the Data Provider to Europeana.

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR): Intellectual Property Rights including, but not limited to copyrights, related (or neighbouring) rights and database rights.

Linked Open Data: Linked Open Data is a way of publishing structured data that allows Metadata to be connected and enriched, so that different representations of the same content can be found, and links made between related resources.

Metadata Mapping: An expression of rules to convert structured data from one format or model to another such as EDM.

Metadata: The textual information and hyperlinks that serve to identify, discover, interpret and/or manage Content.
Note: This is a general term used to describe any element of Metadata.

Metadata Field: A single element of a Metadata Record describing the Digital Object.
Guideline: e.g.: 'edm:Provider' is the Metadata Field that is used to describe the Provider of the digital object.

Metadata Record: The information that makes up an entry in Europeana, typically comprising of a title, description, Preview and other information about a Digital Object.

Preview: A reduced size or length audio and/or visual representation of Content, in the form of one or more images, text files, audio files and/or moving image files.

Public Domain: Content, Metadata or other subject matter not protected by Intellectual Property Rights and/or subject to a waiver of Intellectual Property Rights.

Re-Use: The ability to make use of a Digital Object or Metadata that is available online, through the acts of sharing, duplicating, modifying or publishing.

Rights Statement: A statement that describes the conditions for Access and Re-use of Digital Objects and their Previews. Rights statement are communicated via the ‘edm:rights' Metadata Field as defined by the Europeana Data Model.

Thumbnail: A reduced and/or low resolution version of the Digital Object, normally limited by pixel dimensions, commonly used as the basis of the Preview.

User or End-user: A person or entity making use of the services offered by Europeana through the Europeana Portal, Europeana API, third party services or social networks.