Metadata Input Guidelines: Subject
PAGE CONTENTS 15 min read.
- Element Name
- Where Can the Subject Information be Found?
- How Subject Works in the Metadata Form
- How Should the Subject be Filled in?
- Other Examples:
The subjects or topics that succinctly describe the content of the resource.
Where Can the Subject Information be Found?
In many cases, the item must be read/examined to find subjects and keywords but they may come from:
|Item Types||Information Sources|
|For music scores||
|For sound files||
|For computer files||
In some cases subjects may come from accompanying or supplementary information.
How Subject Works in the Metadata Form
- 1. Subject qualifier – drop-down menu
- 2. Subject – text field
- Yes - to include multiple subjects, click ‘Add’ to repeat all field parts
- Yes - two subject terms are required (more information)
How Should the Subject be Filled in?
General Subject/Keyword Rules
- Information in the subject/keyword field should describe what the
content is ‘about’
- Subjects/keywords answer questions like: who, what, where, and when
- Choose as many terms as necessary to capture subject content:
- Two subjects are required, but an average of five subject/keyword entries is recommended (number varies depending on content)
- Avoid terms too general to describe a particular item
- Only include geographic subjects when the particular place is important to the subject content
- The use of controlled vocabularies is not required (except UNTL-BS terms for items in the Portal)
- Proper names can be subjects (including persons, places, titles, etc.)
- Follow the general formatting rules for consistency:
- Use appropriate capitalization, punctuation, etc. depending on the type of subject
- Terms from controlled vocabularies must use the exact formatting prescribed by the source
- Choose the appropriate subject type from the controlled vocabulary
Keywords and Phrases (KWD)
Girl Scouts of America
Romeo and Juliet
||Description: Postcard of buildings at Ft. McIntosh.
Keyword: Fort McIntosh
University of North Texas
- When assigning keywords, keep in mind that they should help users find the item you’re describing and also help the item be found with other, similar items.
- Follow all formatting guidelines (e.g., make keywords lowercase and plural)
- Here are some suggestions:
||ACI service awards for Austin and Dallas airports||Airport Council International
|crude oil and petroleum products markets||crude oil
||National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)||National Environmental Policy Act
||the DREAM Act||DREAM Act|
||disposal of waste||waste disposal|
|books in astronomy||astronomy books|
Named Animals (namedAnimal)
- If an identified pet or other animal is visible in a photo or a primary subject of a text, the name can be added as a “Named Animal”
Dox Happy Rx
Named Persons (named_person)
- ‘Named persons’ refers to people who are significant in some way to the content of the item (see below for clarification)
- Only include names as ‘named persons’ if a surname is known
- If only a first name, first and middle names, or nickname is known:
- Use the name in the content description (if relevant)
- Use the name in the title (if relevant)
- All names should have the same format:
||Lott, Leanna Ivory|
||Thompson, J. D.|
||Williams, Mary Deline Xenia Buchanan|
van Tyen, Jan
||Steever, Col. Edgar Z.
Petersen, Mrs. P. J.
Stolte, Hugo C., Jr.
||Wind, Ellis (Pee Wee)|
||Austin, Stephen F. (Stephen Fuller), 1793-1836|
||Buchanan, Menvil Mae
Seastrunk, Menvil Mae
||Named Person: Cody, William Frederick
Keyword: Buffalo Bill
Should someone be a ‘named person’?
|Named Person||Not a Named Person|
|Person definitely identified in a photograph||Person hesitantly identified (S. M. Garvin?) - keyword
Person not visible in the photograph - keyword
Statue or likeness of a person - keyword
|Plaintiff or defendant in a court case||Person mentioned once in a court transcript - not included|
|Person who is the subject of an entire or significant portion of a book||Person mentioned in a paragraph or two of a book - not included|
|Author of an autobiography||Author of texts not about themselves - creator/contributor|
|Author and addressee of a letter||Person mentioned in passing in a letter - not included|
UNT Libraries Browse Subjects (UNTL-BS)
- UNTL-BS are used for records in The Portal to Texas History
- For records about Portal objects, include at least one subject (preferably more) from the UNT Libraries Browse Structure
- Choose as many appropriate terms as necessary from the UNTL-BS list
||Sports and Recreation - Riding - Bulls|
||Social Life and Customs - Customs - Weddings|
||Places - United States - Texas - Travis County - Austin
Places - United States - Midwestern Region
Places - Republic of Texas
Note: Additional subjects are added to the UNTL-BS whenever there are enough items to warrant it, so the number of subjects is consistently growing. If you would like to suggest a new subject, please notify Hannah Tarver (email@example.com).
Subjects from Other Established Thesauri or Controlled Vocabularies
- The UNT Libraries schema supports a number of controlled vocabularies and encourages the use of any readily-available subjects (e.g., from established thesauri or discipline-related word lists) that would be helpful for users
- Editors are never required to include terms from external controlled vocabularies
- When included, the vocabulary used should be identified for each term
- If the name of the controlled vocabulary is not in the list, choose “other” and notify the metadata administrators
Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
||Bee culture -- Equipment and supplies.
Fort Wolters (Tex.)
Capote, Truman, 1924-
||Costume -- China -- History -- Ming-Qing dynasties, 1368-1912.|
- Navy pamphlet: The Texas Navy.
- UNTL-BS: Military and Wars - Wars - Texas Revolution
- UNTL-BS: Military and War - Transportation - Ships
- LCSH: Texas – History, Naval.
- LCSH: Ships.
- LCSH: Texas – History – Republic, 1836-1846.
- KWD: independence
- KWD: battleships
- KWD: schooners
- KWD: naval vessels
- KWD: Nimitz
- Photograph: [Look-out Tower at Fort Davis]
- LCSH: New Deal, 1933-1939 – Texas – Fort Davis.
- LCSH: Davis Mountain State Park (Tex.)
- UNTL-BS: Architecture - Civil Works
- UNTL-BS: Places - United States - Texas - Jeff Davis County - Fort Davis
- UNTL-BS: Landscape and Nature - State and National Parks
- KWD: Civilian Conservation Corps
- KWD: overlooks
- KWD: scenery
- KWD: mountains
- KWD: deserts
- Photograph: Jim Goin and Mr. [Fred] Cummings. Ice delivery in Aubrey
- UNTL-BS: People - Individuals
- UNTL-BS: Business, Economics and Finance - Transportation - Automobiles
- KWD: cars
- KWD: wagons
- named_person: Goin, Jim
- named_person: Cummings, Mr. Fred
- Letter to Cromwell Anson Jones, 19 May 1869
- UNTL-BS: People - Individuals - Mary Jones
- UNTL-BS: Social Life and Customs - Correspondence
- LCSH: Jones, Mary Smith McCrory, 1819-1907 – Correspondence.
- KWD: letters
- Map of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway
- UNTL-BS: Landscape and Nature - Geography and Maps
- UNTL-BS: Business, Economics and Finance - Transportation - Railroads
- LCSH: Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway – Maps.
- LCSH: Railroads – United States – Maps.
- Texian Campaigne plate
- UNTL-BS: Military and War - Wars - Mexican War
- UNTL-BS: Social Life and Customs - Food and Cooking
- UNTL-BS: Social Life and Customs - Furnishings - Dishes
- NMC (Chenhall’s): Food T&E
- NMC (Chenhall’s): Tools & Equipment for Materials
- KWD: ceramics
- KWD: plates
- KWD: Texian Campaigne
- Surgical Scalpel, 19th Century
- UNTL-BS: Science and Technology
- OTH: Devices, Medical
- KWD: surgical knife
- KWD: surgical knives
- Thesis: An 8-step program: Shaping and fixed-time food delivery effects on several approximations and undesired responses in goats
- LCSH: Clicker training (Animal training)
- LCSH: Goats – Training.
- LCSH: Operant conditioning.
- KWD: shaping
- Music score: Daisy: Opera in Two Acts
- LCSH: Low, Juliette Gordon, 1860-1927 – Drama.
- LCSH: Girl Scouts.
- LCSH: Operas – Scores.
- KWD: Girl Scouts of America
- KWD: music
- KWD: conductors
- KWD: voices
- KWD: instruments
- Photograph: [Portrait of Jessie Bogle Hubbard]
- LCSH: Bogle family.
- UNTL-BS: People - Individuals
- UNTL-BS: Social Life and Customs - Customs - Weddings
- KWD: wedding dresses
- KWD: portraits
- named_person: Bogle, Jessie
- named_person: Hubbard, Jessie Bogle
- Architectural Drawing: Elementary School Building, Fort Stockton, Texas: Ceiling Plans
- LCSH: Public schools – Texas – Designs and plans.
- UNTL-BS: Architecture - Buildings
- UNTL-BS: Education - Schools - Buildings
- AAT: elementary schools (buildings)
- KWD: Fort Stockton Independent School District
- Since the “subject and keywords” element may describe both what the
object is about and the format in some cases, subject-related
information may be repeated in other elements:
- An image with a Resource Type “Photograph” could have a more specific subject term such as “cabinet cards,” “ambrotypes,” or “panoramic photos”
- To describe a resource, such as an autobiography, that is about its creator, place the creator’s name in both the subject/keyword element and the Creator element.
- Although geographic terms are normally handled by the Coverage (Place Name) element, subject fields could include geographic terms as well if the location is significant to the content.
- When using an established controlled vocabulary, follow all rules
related to scope and formatting
- E.g., the scope for the LCGFT includes the following disciplines: moving images (films, television programs, and video recordings), spoken-word recorded sounds, legal materials, and cartographic materials
- UNT Subject Qualifier Controlled Vocabulary
Resources for Selected Vocabularies:
|Controlled Vocabulary||UNTL Code||Links to Resources|
|University of North Texas Libraries Browse Subjects||UNTL-BS||UNT Libraries Browse Subjects|
|Art and Architecture Thesaurus (Getty)||AAT||Art and Architecture Thesaurus|
|Library of Congress (LC) Vocabularies||Thesauri & Controlled Vocabularies|
||LIV||Legislative Indexing Vocabulary|
|Classification Web (Accessible to UNT staff/students)|
||TGM||Thesaurus for Graphic Materials|