Minimally-Viable Records

Metadata in the UNT Libraries’ Digital Collections uses the UNTL format, which is a locally-qualified Dublin Core schema with twenty-one (21) possible fields. Within the metadata documentation for the Digital Collections, there is an underlying concept of a minimally-viable record, i.e., the minimum amount of information required for a record to be usable.

A record meets the criteria for a “minimally-viable record” if it has values for eight required fields, representing the lowest common denominator of a “complete” record within the Digital Collections. Each of these field values can easily be determined or assigned by looking at an item, or through administrative information (for collection and institution).

Although we encourage metadata creators to enter all known/applicable information in relevant fields, optional fields contain information which may not be available or appropriate for all items.

Required Fields

Field Qualifier Definition Repeatability Reason
Title Main Title The name given to the resource. Every item must have one (1) main title

Some records may have multiple title types
Every digital object should have a name encompassing the whole resource.
Language   The language(s) of the intellectual content of the resource. Repeatable as necessary Assists in narrowing search results and finding appropriate items.

There is an option for "No Language" to satisfy the requirement.
Description Content Description of the content attributes of the resource. Not repeatable Describes the item to assist users in finding relevant resources.
Subjects and Keywords [any] The subjects or topics that succinctly describe the content of the resource. A minimum of two subjects is required, there is currently no defined maximum Assists in locating items with similar topics, particularly for image-based items.
  University of North Texas Browse Subjects (UNTL-BS) A locally-defined hierarchical controlled vocabulary for subject description. At least one UNTL-BS term is required for all records in The Portal to Texas History These terms allow the "Browse by Subject" functionality.
Collection   Collection refers to a larger group of resources with a unique collective title to which the resource being described belongs. Items can be assigned to multiple collections as appropriate This is a primary way that items are grouped, topically, and provides a collection-level description for context.
Institution   A consistent reference to the institution or administrative unit that owns the digital resource for which metadata was created. Not repeatable Represents the partner institution that owns the physical collection and has the ability to confer usage permissions or provide copies.

Internally, the coded partner is also used for access to edit metadata records.
Resource Type   The type or category of the primary content of the resource. Not repeatable Important for browsing by material types.
Format   The digital manifestation of the resource. Not repeatable Used for metadata interoperability.

Optional Fields

Field Definition Usage Notes
(all other types)
(See the glossary of title types.)  
Creator The person, agency, or organization primarily responsible for creating the intellectual content of the resource. Must include a type (person or organization) and role.
Contributor The name of the person or organization that has played an important but secondary role in creating the content of the resource and is not specified in the creator element. Must include a type (person or organization) and role.
Publisher An entity responsible for making the resource available: the publisher of the original work.  
Date Dates associated with events in the life cycle of the resource. May have multiple date types, but not multiple entries for the same date type.
Description (Physical) Description of the physical attributes of the resource. Inclusion is highly encouraged.
Primary Source The primary source field designates firsthand accounts of historical subjects. Not generally used for the UNT Digital Library.
Coverage Temporal and geographic information represented in the content of the resource. May include multiple coverage information components (place names, dates, time periods, etc.).

May include multiple entries for the same coverage type (except dates).
Source Information about a resource from which the current resource is derived.  
Citation Information about a serial item, a resource from which the current resource is derived, or peer-reviewed status of items.  
Relation Information about another resource that is related to the current resource.  
Rights Management Rights information provides information about rights held in and over the resource; describes the conditions under which the work may be used, distributed, reproduced, etc.; how these conditions may change over time; and whom to contact regarding the copyright of the work. Rights information is not added to most records by default since a blanket statement displays on every item page in the Digital Collections.

Rights information can be entered in any (or all) of these four categories:
  • access: level of access allowed to users
  • license: Creative Commons license or copyrights assigned to the item
  • holder: entity that holds the rights to the item
  • statement: free-text statement regarding rights or licensing
Identifier A numeric or alphanumeric string or a URL that identifies the item in a particular context.  
Degree Information Degree information provides detailed information associated with the work as it appears on the item. Included for items created at UNT (e.g., theses or dissertations, and other scholarly materials).
Note A "catch-all" field for additional information that cannot be entered in other elements.  

Additional Resources