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Standard Metadata Attributes

Dublin Core

These are the fifteen metadata attributes defined by the Dublin Core standard, in use in all ebooks, regardless of format or platform. For more information, visit the official website of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. The IDPF's expanded set of OPF metadata definitions are not presented here, as they are far too extensive to list, but you can find the official specs at the IDPF website.

Property Description
contributor Used for persons making contributions to the publication in a manner that is secondary to the role of creator, such as editors, translators, or designers. The significance of the role is arbitrary, as, for example, an illustrator may be a primary creator or a secondary contributor. The semantics and attributes are the same as those used for creator.
coverage Identifies the spatial or temporal topic of the publication, such as the geographic applicability of a resource or jurisdiction under which it is relevant. Spatial coverage refers to a physical region, using place names or coordinates, while temporal coverage specifies a time period covered by the content, such as Neolithic or Elizabethan. See the DC Coverage Element for further descriptive commentary.
creator The primary authors or creators of the publication, whether person, service, or organization. A separate element should be used for each name, and these should be given in the order to be presented to the reader. The OPF 2.0 spec adds the optional attributes role and file-as. See MARC Code List for Relators for complete list of the 223 role values and their 3-character codes, along with a description of each role's function.
date Any relevant date(s) for the publication, such as creation, publication, and/or revision. The OPF spec adds the optional event attribute to define these temporal points, using standard defined Date & Time Formats (i.e. YYYY-MM-DD), of which the 4-digit year is required (this is not required by Amazon, although it is recommended). A full set of event values has not been defined.
description The description(s) of the publication content. This may include, but is not limited to, an abstract, table of contents, graphical representation, or free-form account of the content. It is often used to provide the sales copy for online retailers, as well as book reviewers and bloggers.
format The media-type or physical dimensions of the publication. This might also include such factors as duration, software version, or operating system, along with hardware required to use the resource. The recommendation is to use a MIME type.
identifier Required. One or more unique references to the publication within a given context, such as ISBN, DOI, URN or URI. The OPF spec provides an optional scheme attribute that names the system or authority that generated the identifier, although no specific schema are endorsed or defined as required. One element must be defined as the unique-identifier, with an id value specified.
language Required. One or more language identifiers, with optional region subtag, such as en-us for English as spoken in the United States, or fr-ca for Canadian French. Avoid using subtags unless necessary. The OPF spec requires that these conform to RFC 3066 or its successor.
publisher The publisher(s) of the resource, defined as the entity responsible for making the publication available in its present form, such as a publishing house, university department, or a corporate entity. This is generally the entity to whom the ISBN is registered (the "publisher of record").
relation Identifies related resources and their relationship to the current publication. Used to express linkages between entities, such as soundtracks to a movie, or reference works dependent on support materials. There is no standard schema adopted.
rights An assertion of the rights held by the publisher/creator with respect to the publication and its content. A statement of Copyright notice should appear, including Intellectual and other Property Rights, as well as links and/or references to the rights protection system or service employed.
source Identification of primary or secondary resource documents or publications from which the current publication is derived, either in whole or in part, including necessary discovery metadata.
subject The topic or subject matter of the content. This can be anything from one or more keywords, classification codes such as those provided by the Library of Congress or BISAC's Subject Headings, or any descriptive phrase. There is no schema standardization provided.
title Required. There must be at least one title for the publication, although multiple titles and/or subtitles are allowed, such as for series or volumes. The first one listed should be the primary title.
type The nature or genre of the publication. Includes terms for general categories (such as Fiction or Non-Fiction, etc.), genres (such as Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance), as well as those describing functions (such as Technical Report or Dictionary). To describe the physical medium or coding mechanism of the resource, use the format element.

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