This research describes an empirical study of how the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (DCMES) is used by 100 Data Providers (DPs) registered with the Open Archives Initiative (OAI). The research was conducted to determine whether or not the DCMES is used to its full capabilities. Eighty-two of 100 DPs have metadata records available for analysis. DCMES usage varies by type of DP. The average number of Dublin Core elements per record is eight, with an average of 91,785 Dublin Core elements used per DP. Five of the 15 elements of the DCMES are used 71% of the time. The results show the DCMES is not used to its fullest extent within DPs registered with OAI.