Metadata Resources and Links

The following resources and publications provide additional information about metadata standards, schemas, and best practices applicable to describing Emory digital content.

Metadata Schemas and Standards

Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS)

The Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) is a bibliographic element set that may be used for a variety of purposes, and particularly for library applications. As an XML schema it is intended to be able to carry selected data from existing MARC 21 records as well as to enable the creation of original resource description records.

Dublin Core Element Set

Also known as "Simple" Dublin Core, the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set is a vocabulary of fifteen properties for use in resource description.

TEI Header

TEI (Text Encoding Initiative), provides guidelines and schemas for encoding machine-readable texts in the humanities and social sciences. The TEI header section contains metadata about full-text documents.

ISO 19115 (Geospatial Metadata)

ISO 19115:2003 defines the schema required for describing geographic information and services. It provides information about the identification, the extent, the quality, the spatial and temporal schema, spatial reference, and distribution of digital geographic data.

Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)

The Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM), Vers. 2 (FGDC-STD-001-1998) is the current US Federal Metadata standard. The FGDC originally adopted the CSDGM in 1994 and revised it in 1998. According to Executive Order 12906, all Federal agencies are ordered to use this standard to document geospatial data created as of January 1995. The standard is often referred to as the 'FGDC Metadata Standard' and has been implemented beyond the federal level with State and local governments adopting the metadata standard as well.

Data Documentation Initiative (DDI)

A metadata specification for describing research studies in the social and behavioral sciences

VRA Core

VRA Core, issued by the Visual Resources Association, is a data standard for the description of works of visual culture as well as the images that document them. Works of visual culture can include objects or events such as paintings, drawings, sculpture, architecture, photographs, as well as book, decorative, and performance art.

Glossary of Metadata Standards

Glossary which lists metadata standards and controlled vocabularies across multiple domains.

Seeing Standards: A Visualization of the Metadata Universe

This visual map of the metadata landscape, which includes over 100 metadata-related standards, is intended to assist planners with the selection and implementation of metadata standards.

RDA Metadata Standards Directory

The Research Data Alliance Metadata Standards Directory Working Group maintains a collaborative, open directory of metadata standards applicable to scientific data.

Controlled Vocabularies

Art & Architecture Thesaurus

The AAT is a structured vocabulary currently containing around 268,650 terms that describe art, architecture, decorative arts, material culture, and archival materials. The target audience includes museums, libraries, visual resource collections, archives, conservation projects, cataloging projects, and bibliographic projects.

FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) - Subject Headings

FAST headings are derived from the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), one of the library domain┬┐s most widely-used subject terminology schemas. FAST is designed to be easier to understand, control, apply, and use.

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)

The Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) are a controlled vocabulary of subject headings, maintained by the United States Library of Congress, for use in bibliographic records.

VIAF - Virtual International Authority File

The Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) is an international service designed to provide convenient access to the world's major name authority files.

Library of Congress Name Authority File (LCNAF)

The Library of Congress Name Authority File (NAF) file provides authoritative data for names of persons, organizations, events, places, and titles.

Content Standards and Best Practices

RDA Toolkit

RDA Toolkit is an integrated, browser-based, online product that allows users to interact with a collection of cataloging-related documents and resources, including RDA: Resource Description & Access, the new set of cataloging instructions that replaces the AACR2 cataloging standard.

Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)

DACS is an output-neutral set of rules for describing archives, personal papers, and manuscript collections, and can be applied to all material types. It is the U.S. implementation of international standards (i.e., ISAD(G) and ISAAR(CPF)) for the description of archival materials and their creators.

Digital Library Federation: Aquifer Implementation Guidelines for Shareable MODS Records

A set of implementation guidelines of the Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS). The joint DLF and NSDL Best Practices for Shareable Metadata (MODS) specifically for use in describing digital cultural heritage and humanities-based scholarly resources.

Web and SEO

Google - Titles and Descriptions

Guidance on how to enhance Google's automated generation of page titles and descriptions (or "snippets") as shown in search results. provides a vocabulary for microdata markup format that is shared by all the search engines and that supports a wide variety of item types and properties.


Specification document for microdata, a WHATWG HTML specification used to nest metadata within existing content on web pages. Search engines, web crawlers, and browsers can extract and process Microdata from a web page and use it to provide a richer browsing experience for users.

HTML 5 Meta Extensions

Wiki source listing proposed and approved <meta> name attribute values for use in HTML5.

Technical overview and usage of the HTML <meta> tag and its attributes.

Google Scholar - Content Guidelines

Provides an overview of what types/formats of content Google Scholar accepts for inclusion as scholarly research.

Google Scholar - Indexing and Metadata Guidelines

Google's guidelines for getting scholarly content indexed and parsed by Google Scholar: includes guidance on file structure, meta tags, and HTML markup.

Best Practices/Educational Resources

Understanding Metadata (NISO)

Broad introduction to metadata, including different types of metadata and commonly used schemas/standards.

Digital Library Federation: Best Practices for Shareable Metadata

Provides data providers, service providers, and system designers with information on how to best implement the OAI PMH on the data provider side. Data providers will also find information on how to create or map metadata that is shareable outside of the local environment and can be used by service providers to support the end-user in finding resources.