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Minnesota Recordkeeping Metadata Standard: Relation Element



A link between one record item and another, or between various aggregations of records.

A link between a record and another information resource.


To provide contextual information about the record by documenting its place in the recordkeeping system and its relationships with other records and information resources documenting the same function, activity or transaction.

To act as an access point for records and information resources which are related to each other.

Rational: Documentation of these relationships enables both proper management and informed use of records over time.
Obligation: Optional
Applicability: Applicable at the record and/or record series level.
Use Conditions:

Not to be used for relationships other than those between records or between records and other information resources (e.g., not to be used to describe relationships between agents).

It is possible for a record to have no relationship with any other record, or with any resource.

This element may be used in conjunction with element 15. MANAGEMENT HISTORY. Use of this element will be triggered when the Assigned Value 'Related' under sub-element 15.2 Event Type is selected.

This element shall be linked to elements 12. AGGREGATION LEVEL and 14. RECORD IDENTIFIER.

Repeatable: Yes



Name Obligation Schemes
7.1 Related Item ID Mandatory Filenames, URI, agency-defined schemes
7.2 Relation Type Mandatory Minnesota Recordkeeping Metadata Standard, agency-defined schemes
7.3 Relation Description Optional Free text
Comments: The information captured in this element pertains only to the nature of a particular relation between records, or between records and other information resources. Information relating to the agent responsible for implementing the relation, and the date/time the relation was implemented, may be recorded under element 15. MANAGEMENT HISTORY.


Definition: A unique identifier for the related record or information resource.

To act as an access point to the related record or information resource.

The identifier is an essential element which uniquely identifies the related record or resource. It also provides the 'key' or link to all other (currently accessible) information about the related record or resource.

Obligation: Mandatory
Use Conditions: The identifier shall uniquely identify the related record or resource in the current domain (in the case of a related record managed under the Minnesota Recordkeeping Metadata Standard, agencies should strongly consider using the official record identifier as assigned under 14. RECORD IDENTIFIER). If the related record or resource resides in another recordkeeping system, or outside the agency itself, enough identifying information shall be provided to uniquely identify the item in the domain of the record to which it is related.
Assigned Values: -
Default Value: -
Repeatable: Yes
Assigned By: Selected from lists of existing records, record series, or related items, and assigned or manually entered by the authorized agent defining the relationship.
Schemes: Filenames, URI, agency-defined schemes.
Comments: -


Definition: A category of relationship between records, at the same or different levels of aggregation, or between records and other information resources.

To document the nature of the relationships between the two or more items.

To provide contextual information about records by documenting other items with which they have logical associations or historical relationships.

Obligation: Mandatory
Use Conditions:

A record may have the same relationship with more than one other record or resource.

A record may have more than one relationship with another record or resource.

Assigned Values:

(Value Name,

Value Name Definition
Contains/Contained in:

Denotes participation in a level of aggregation.

Denotes a record or resource which makes up part of a defined whole.

For example, records are contained in a record series.

It shall not be possible to use this value to relate an item of a particular security classification to a file of a lower security classification.

Next/Previous: Denotes that the record is the next or previous part of a sequence-e.g., the next or previous part of file 99/131.
Replaces/Replaced by:

Denotes that the content of the record replaces/is replaced by (supersedes/is superseded by) the content of another record.

This value may be used to indicate versioning.

References/Is Referenced By: Denotes that the record refers (e.g., through textual references, URIs, or bibliographic information) to other resources or that other resources refer to this record.
Derived from (source): Denotes another record or resource from which the record is derived.
Default Value: -
Repeatable: Yes
Assigned By: System-assigned. Changes to the default value should be selected by an authorized agent from a pick list of the assigned values.
Schemes: Minnesota Recordkeeping Metadata Standard, agency-defined schemes.
Comments: Other values may be added by agencies to meet their own requirements for defining relationships between records, and records and other information resources. The Dublin Core metadata element set offers several qualifiers for the relation element that may be considered as well.



Information about the relationship not explicit or obvious in sub-element 7.2 Relation Type.

Further explanatory notes or details about the relationship.


To provide additional contextual information about the relationship.

It might be necessary to explain the reasoning behind why a particular relationship between particular records/resources was defined.

Specific details about the actual instance of the relationship (other than date/time and agent information, which is recorded under element 15. MANAGEMENT HISTORY) might need to be recorded here.

Obligation: Optional
Use Conditions: -
Assigned Values: -
Default Value: -
Repeatable?: Yes
Assigned By?: Manually entered by the authorized agent defining the relationship.
Schemes: Free text

Agencies must take care to ensure that the description of the relation does not violate the restrictions laid out in the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA). One way to avoid the situation of differences in MGDPA classification between related records would be to only note record identifiers and not to use sub-element 7.3 at all.

It is strongly recommended that this information be structured in some way, rather than being entered as free text. Use of templates will enable the information to be entered in a structured way, as well as allowing certain pieces of information to be automatically generated by the system rather than manually entered by the agent.


7.1 Related Item ID 89-7346
7.2 Relation Type Contained In
7.3 Relation Description This record is part of the personnel file record series

7.1 Related Item ID www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/stats/13/072.html
7.2 Relation Type References
7.3 Relation Description Statute reference within record

Minnesota Recordkeeping Metadata Standard: Version 1.3, March 2015

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