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A number of international efforts have been initiated during the past few years leading to the definition of educational metadata specifications for the commonly agreed description of educational resources. As more and more applications are implemented using educational metadata, it becomes obvious that it would be difficult for a single metadata model to accommodate the functional requirements of all applications. As a result, application profiles aim to facilitate the application-oriented implementation of educational metadata specifications. In this paper we discuss the issue of standardization vs. conversion and will present different existing specifications with the relative merits of each one, we will examine the fundamental techniques for the definition of application profiles and will focus on discussing interoperability issues in the case of application profiles. Finally, we will demonstrate the use of a tool which offers a graphical user interface for straightforward metadata authoring and at the same time has the necessary suppleness to easily incorporate new educational metadata specifications and/or application profiles.