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OSU Library Metadata: A Guideline to Best Practices: Home

This site provides guidelines for OSU's local implementation of CDP Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices Version 2.1.1


The OSU Library Metadata Guide: Best Practices for Digital Collections is a document based on national standards and best practices for creating and enhancing metadata that provides consistency and accuracy within and between digital collections to increase exposure and interoperability. While the document sets forth the guidelines to follow in building and editing a digital collection, the descriptive metadata will be allowed to vary such as in field names for creators, the order of elements, and the use of the Dublin Core elements (see section: Elements to be used with OSU Library Digital Collections) to accommodate the uniqueness and requirements of the individual collection and the software programs. Any extensive deviation from the guidelines will require a revision to the document, as needed.


This document is a revision and title change to the Oklahoma State University Library Metadata Supplement: DRAFT, Local Implementation of CDP Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices Version 2.1.1 developed by Mary Larson and Robin Leech in consultation with Leigh Grinstead, a Lyrasis Digital Services Consultant. A working group of members from Digital Resources and Discovery Services (DRDS), Oklahoma Oral History Research Program (OOHRP), and the Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) provided input along with examples for the revisions. A final review by Ms. Grinstead was completed in July 2015 to ensure the compliance of the revisions to standards and resolve questions.

Metadata for the Oklahoma State University Library follows best practices as set forth by the Collaborative Digitization Program (CDP) in CDP Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices Version 2.1.1 (September 2006). Exceptions and local implementations are noted here. Oklahoma State University Library staff members that will be creating metadata are strongly encouraged to read the CDP documentation at least once prior to cataloging for the first time. Many of the examples given here are taken from that larger document. 

The intent of the CDP Dublin Core Metadata Best Practices is to provide guidelines for creating metadata records for digitized cultural heritage resources that are either born digital or have been reformatted from an existing physical resource, such as photographs, text, audio, video, three-dimensional artifacts, etc. This document uses the Dublin Core element set as defined by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI).

Application of these best practices will result in standardized Dublin Core records that:

  • enhance online search and retrieval accuracy in local and shared databases (i.e., union catalogs)
  • improve resource discovery capabilities
  • improve quality control of metadata records
  • facilitate inter-institutional interoperability