The purpose of this paper is to show how XML is applied to digital library systems. For a better understanding of XML, the major features of XML are reviewed and compared with those of HTML. An experimental XML‐based metadata retrieval system, which is designed as a subsystem of the Korean Virtual Library and Information System (VINIS) is demonstrated. The metadata retrieval system consists of two modules: a retrieval module and a browsing module. The retrieval module allows the retrieval of metadata stored in Microsoft Access files and the display of search results in an XML file format, while the browse module permits browsing of metadata in XML/XSL document formats. Finally, some issues for a more efficient application of XML to digital libraries are discussed.
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