Core Metadata

What is Emory Core Metadata?

As a result of the Metadata Working Group's 2014 research, standards benchmarking, and system profiling, we identified 18 core descriptive metadata fields (Emory Core) that are required or recommended for digital collections and projects. These core elements are:

  • Critical to end-user discovery and access
  • Commonly required in relevant metadata standards
  • Frequently utilized in Emory discovery interfaces (search, sort, browse, facet)
  • Broadly applicable to Emory content types
  • Schema-agnostic; mapped to established metadata standards

These guidelines are developed with final review and approval by the Emory University Libraries Cabinet. While additional metadata is encouraged and is required in some scenarios, Core metadata represents the minimum required to support search and discovery. The Emory Libraries' Digital Collection Development Policy (approved in 2014) requires that digital collections adhere to these guidelines as a baseline standard for descriptive metadata. 

Emory Core Metadata Summary (Version 2.0, November 2017)

ElementRequirementExplanationEntry Type
TitleRequiredThe name of the resource being described.Free-text
Identifier - LocalRequiredUnique identifier for a digital object within an Emory system environment.URI; Free-text
InstitutionRequiredThe name of the owner or the steward to the original source content (either physical or born-digital): the institution who is responsible for providing access to the resource.Controlled Vocabulary
Content TypeRequiredDescribes the nature and general type of the original content source.Controlled Vocabulary
Rights/Access StatementRequiredStatement indicating terms and conditions of access or usage for a given resource, including intellectual property and copyright information.Free-text; URI
Date - SourceRequiredDate information significant to an event in the lifecycle of the original content source: either the date of creation or the publication date.Date/Time
Access URLRequired if ApplicableA URL which resolves to the primary online access point for a digital object. URI
LanguageRequired if ApplicableThe language of the source content being described: applies to textual or spoken word (linguistic) content.Controlled Vocabulary
CreatorRequired if ApplicableThe name of the person(s) or organization(s) with primary responsibility for creating the content.Free-text; Controlled Vocabulary
Digital CollectionRequired if ApplicableThe name of the digital or virtual collection of related items, which the described resource is a part of.Free-text
Source CollectionRequired if ApplicableThe name of a physical collection of related content, which the described resource is a part of.Free-text; Controlled Vocabulary
Source Item Call NumberRequired if ApplicableLocal call number or accession number for the original source object, if applicable.Free-text
DescriptionRecommendedFree-text, summary description of the content, such as an abstract.Free-text
Subject - KeywordsRecommendedA term or phrase that reflects the subject matter of the content, entered as free-text keywords.Free-text
Subject - ControlledRecommendedSubject terms describing what the resource is about, including topics, personal/corporate names, work titles, geographic information, or time periods/cultures.Controlled Vocabulary
ContributorRecommendedThe name of person(s) or organization(s) providing significant but secondary contributions to creating the content, such as an editor, funder, or thesis committee member.Free-text; Controlled Vocabulary
Identifier - StandardRecommendedA formal, standard identifier issued and maintained by an external organization, which may be formatted as a URI or a unique number/code.Free-text; URI
Content GenreRecommendedA more detailed sub-type refining the broader Content Type element: provides a specific characterization of the nature or style of the original content source.Controlled Vocabulary