Requirement Level: Required

Core Element: Yes

Describes: Original Source


The name of the resource being described. The title may either be transcribed from the resource itself, or it may need to be created. Titles are a critical element required by a majority of metadata standards, and are used in all discovery systems, including web search engines.


Journal Article

Protein-Coding and MicroRNA Biomarkers of Recurrence of Prostate Cancer Following Radical Prostatectomy

Digitized Photo

Photograph of William Levi Dawson and Cecile N. Dawson at the Silver Rail Bar and Grill, New York City, August 1951

Digitized Audio

Alice Walker reads "Nineteen Fifty-Five," American Audio Prose Library


Atlanta Studies Network

Mappings and Encoding

Dublin Core:


See recommended mappings for additional standards.

How Do I Fill This In?



You may add additional title entries to indicate alternate/variant titles (see the Additional detail note below).

Recommended Data Entry Type:

Free-text entry

Recommended/default values:

If a title already exists and is known for your content, record the original title for the content.

If the title is not known for your content, you will need to create one. If your project or unit has established guidelines for the creation of titles, utilize those conventions. For general recommendations, see the How do I create a title from scratch? note in the Help/Troubleshooting section below.

Punctuation/style notes:  

Use the punctuation and capitalization style rules most appropriate to where your content will be discovered and/or published. See the FAQ section below for more information.

Additional detail:

Titles are frequently used to display search results, which may be sorted alphabetically. It is recommended to either remove or otherwise encode indicate initial articles (“A”, “An”, “The”, and other languages’ equivalents) as non-sorting words, if your system or schema supports it.

If you are providing multiple title entries in your record, make sure the primary title is entered first in the metadata record. If supported by your system or schema, use additional attributes to differentiate primary vs. alternate titles.

System Tips:

Google/Web Search Engine Optimization: if your content is searchable by Google, note that search results screen will only display the first 70 or so characters of your title.  The title shown corresponds to the entry in your HTML <title> tag.

When mapping metadata to simple Dublin Core (for Primo or other contexts), if multiple titles are recorded, it is recommended to only map a single preferred Title entry to Dublin Core’s title element. Receiving systems may randomly select a single Title if multiple titles are present.


How do I create a title from scratch?

If you are the creator of the content:

Enter a title that is concise and appropriate to your content’s original context and intended audience (such as an article for publication, web page, photograph, etc.). Since Titles are nearly always utilized for search, consider incorporating important keywords into the text of your title.

If you are describing a resource that you did not create:

When creating a title from scratch, devise a title that describes its nature/form (e.g., map, literary manuscript, diary, advertisement, audio recording) and/or its subject matter (e.g., names of persons, corporate bodies, objects, activities, events, geographical area and dates).  For archival materials, also provide the name of the creators or collectors (personal or organization names). 

Avoid using system-generated default titles, or placeholder entries such as  “untitled” or “unknown”. Keep titles concise, but also make sure to incorporate important keywords to make your content more discoverable.


Which style guide or punctuation rules should I follow for free-text entries?

How do I optimize my web content for Google search?

Links and Resources:

Resource Description and Access (RDA)

Describing Archives: A Content Standard


Guideline last revised: 2017-02-15