Metadata specification

  1. Language

    1. Metadata Language (Required)

      List the English name of the language you are using to fill out this form. This is the only field where English translation is required because we need to know what language you are using so we can work with translators, if necessary.
    2. Book Language(s)

      Enter the language(s) in which the book is written. If the book is written in two or more languages, list the primary language first, followed by the other languages. If the book only has a few words or phrases in another language, do not list the language as a book language, but include a reader note.
  2. Title Information

    1. Display Title (Required)

      Enter the book's title exactly as it appears in the book. The default for the source (in all sections of this form) is the book. If the title is not found in the book, please list the other source. If the book is multi-lingual and all languages are shown in the title, please enter the full title in all languages with an = sign between languages. When you translate a title, if part of the title can only be transliterated because it is a proper noun, and the other part can be translated, put it in the translated section.
      1. For the title, information should be taken from one of the following sources in this order of preference:
        1. Title Page
        2. Cover
        3. Spine
        4. Other Source in the Book
      2. Do not include the subtitle, additional title, series title, or number.
      3. If the book is bilingual, please present both of the languages names.
        • Example of Bilingual Title
          • Display Title: Angels ride bikes and other fall poems = Los ángeles andan en bicicleta y otros poemas de otoño
      4. Unless your language capitalization rules differ from English, only capitalize the first word of the title and proper names.
        • Examples
          • Display Title: Egypt in the Greek and Roman era
          • Source: Book
          • Display Title: Elizabeth's trip to town
          • Source: Book
          • Display Title: The seven sisters of Arthur
          • Source: Book
    2. Sorted Title (Conditional)

      In order to assist users in viewing an alphabetical list of book titles, we ask that you help us in identifying and moving initial articles, such as "the" in English" or "der" in German. Please don't change the article if it changes the meaning of the title. Use the grammar rules common for your language. If the sorted title is not different from the display title, do not put anything in this field.

      If the title of your book begins with an article, please move the article from the beginning of your title to the end, using a comma to separate them. Please refer to the following Web site for articles in specific languages at KSU's Libraries List of Articles.

      • Examples
        • English
          • Display Title: The Big Red Dog
          • Sorted Title: Big Red Dog, The
        • German
          • Display Title: Der Schweizersche Robinson oder der schiffbruchige
          • Sorted Title: Schweizersche Robinson oder der schiffbruchige, Der

      Check out the following link to see how readers view our titles alphabetically: ICDL Alphabetized List.

    3. Other Title Information (Optional)

      Sometimes a subtitle or other title information follows the main title in the book. It can be separated from the title with a colon such as: John's Smith's Adventures: Travels through North America, or presented in smaller text below the main title.
      • Example
        • Main Title: John's Smith Adventures
        • Other Title Information: Travels through North America
    4. Alternative Title(s) (Optional)

      Please list any versions of the title which differ from the one presented in the other title sections. These titles may appear on another location in the book, such as on the cover or spine. Also include any version of a book commonly known by another title.
      • Example
        • Title on title page: The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland
        • Alternative Title: Alice in Wonderland
    5. Series Title (Optional)

      If the book is part of a series, enter the full title of the series. The series may appear in many locations of the book. Please enter the series exactly as it appears in the book, in one of the following locations, in this order of preference:
      1. Series Title Page
      2. Title Page
      3. Cover
      4. Spine
      5. Other Source
      • Example
        • Series Title: Ancient History Series
    6. Series Number/Information (Optional)

      If the book is part of a series, enter the series number given in the terms in which it appears in the item (e.g., 4, vol. 2, module C, no. III).
  3. Creator(s)

    Enter the creators' names in the order in which they are listed on the title page in the book. If the creator is not a person, but rather an organization or service, enter the name of the organization in the First Element field. Enter as many creators as are credited within the book itself. For each person associated with the creation of the book (author, illustrator, translator, etc.), specify Display Name, Sorted Name, Other Version (if available), and role.

    1. Role(s) (Required)

      Please select from our list of creator's roles, such as author, illustrator, editor, adaptor, or translator. List all roles a creator performed. If there is no creator information, write [none] in brackets in this field.
    2. Display Name (Required)

      Please list the creators' names exactly as they appear in the book. List any degrees or titles with a comma at the end of the name like John Smith, Dr. Do not add degrees or titles to the sorted names. If there is no creator information, write [none] in brackets in this field.
    3. Sorted Name (Required)

      1. First Element (Required)

        (Or primary part of name, often last name, family name, or surname for some countries.) If your creator is a organization please list it here and then write [none] with brackets in the second element field. Do not add degrees or titles to the sorted names. If there is no creator information, write [none] in brackets in this field.
      2. Second Element (Required)

        (Given name, or first name in some countries.) Do not add degrees or titles to the sorted names. If there is no creator information, write [none] in brackets in this field.
        • Example
          • Display Name: John A. Smith
          • Sorted Name First Element: Smith
          • Sorted Name Second Element: John A.
      3. Sorting Creator Name Guidelines

        For sorting creator names, some guidelines are shown online in the Dublin Core publication, "Representing People's Names in Dublin Core" at Dublin Core Names.

        While not available online, AACR2 deals extensively with naming rules, some of which are abbreviated in the above online publication from Dublin Core. Here are some rules from AACR2 pertaining to naming:

        1. For the creator, information should be taken from one of the following sources, in this order of preference:
          1. Title Page
          2. Cover
          3. Spine
          4. Other Source such as authority records
        2. For searching purposes, sort according First Element (or primary part of name, often last name, family name, or surname for some countries); and Second Element (given name, or first name in some countries).
          • Example
            • Display Name: John A. Smith
            • Sorted Name First Element Entry: Smith
            • Sorted Name Second Element: John A.
        3. With a name containing a compound surname, use the element, which the creator prefers to enter the name or what is listed in the name authority files from the person's country.
        4. For languages with specific rules regarding surnames, prefixes, etc., please consult naming authorities in your country or AACR2. We sort alphabetically by the last element of a person's name for consistency. Please go to the following link to our Web site to see how we alphabetically sort names: Author and Illustrator List.
    4. Other Version(s) (Optional)

      If the author commonly uses another name or if another version of the name appears in a major name authority file, please list it so that we can include it as well.
      • Example
        • Role: Author
        • Display: Mark Twain
        • Sorted Name First Element: Twain
        • Sorted Name Second Element: Mark
        • Source: Book
        • Other Version: Samuel Clemens
        • Source: Library of Congress Name Authority Record
  4. Publication Information

    For publication material, information should be taken from following sources in this order of preference:
    • Title Page
    • t. p. Verso
    • Cover
    • Spine
    • Other Source such as authority records
    1. Publisher(s) Name (Required)

      If there is more than one publisher, please list all publishers. If there is no publisher information available, write [none] in brackets in this field.
      • Example
        • Publisher: Newton Publishing
    2. Publisher URL (If available)

    3. Publisher Location (Required)

      1. City (Required)

        Enter city of the publisher, if provided. If the book was published in several cities list all of them. If there is no publisher information available, write [none] in brackets in this field.
      2. Publisher Country (Required)

        For non-English speaking countries, list the country in the original language and then translate the country name into English. If there is no publisher information available, write [none] in brackets in this field.

        ICDL uses the National Geographic Society as our authority for country names. For a list of the English names of the countries of the world, refer to the National Geographic Society's list of countries.

        For an easy to read list of countries in their own languages and scripts, check out Omniglot.

    4. Publication Year (calendar) (Required)

      Enter the most recent date of publication included on the work. If you are using another calendar other than the Gregorian calendar (with 12 months and 365 days), such as the Muslim Calendar, please list it. The default field for calendar will be Gregorian. Also, if you have a publication date but are not certain of its authenticity, please put the date in brackets, ex. [1937]. If you are unsure of the year, put a question mark inside the brackets, examples [193?] or [19??]. If you have no idea of the date, please write [n.d.]. If you are writing numbers in other forms rather than Roman such as Farsi or Arabic, please write the original language numbers and then transliterate in the appropriate section. Additional information on listing bibliographic material is available in AACR2.
    5. Copyright Year (If available)

      The copyright date is the date that the legal right was granted to an author, illustrator, publisher, or distributor to exclusive publication, production, sale, or distribution of a work. It is usually preceded by the symbol ©. Please list the latest copyright date. If information is available about the copyright on the title page, please list below. Many countries do not have copyright dates.
      • Example
        • Copyright Year: 1976
        • Calendar Type: Gregorian
        • Source: Title Page
    6. Edition Statement (If available)

      Please list any statements on title page such as 3rd Revised edition exactly as they appear in the book.
  5. Identifying Numbers

    1. ISBN (If available)

      Enter the International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
      • Example
        • 0-8389-0001-1
    2. Dewey Decimal (If available)

      Enter the Dewey Decimal Number if it listed in your book. If you use the Universal Dewey Classification System (UDC), please list it.
      • Example
        • 551.46
    3. Other Number(s) (If available)

      If any other identifying numbers exist, enter a description of the number and include the number itself. Other numbers may include your own unique identifier, a classification number such as Record Identification Numbers (RID), or the Library of Congress Card Number. Enter as many numbers as are associated with the book itself.
      • Example
        • Description: Library of Congress Card Number
        • Number: PZ10.3.D372 Al
  6. Physical Characteristics

    1. Page Count (Optional)

      Enter the number shown on the last numbered page of the book. For unnumbered books, either enter brackets (e.g., [25]) around the page count provided or enter [none].
    2. Dimensions (Optional)

      Use combinations of whole numbers 1-9 and 0 in centimeters to write the height and width. Do not use partial centimeters like .72 or ¾.
      1. Dimension: Height (cm)

      2. Dimension: Width (cm)

    3. Reading Direction (Recommended)

      Indicate whether the book is read left to right (such as in English books) or right to left (such as in books in Arabic).
  7. Abstract, Keywords, etc.

    The information you provide in this section is valuable to help us categorize your book, especially if it is not in English. However, we reserve editorial right to change the content of your material to fit our Web site.
    1. Abstract (Summary) (Required)

      What is the book about?
      1. Keep it short and concise. If possible, within three or four sentences.
      2. Please write the abstract with a child's audience in mind.
      3. Summaries should be descriptive, but not reviews. Avoid interpreting the book. Please leave out words describing your understanding of the book's picture or text.
      4. If possible, please do not reveal the ending so it will remain a surprise to the reader.
      5. If there is no abstract information available, write [none] in brackets in this field.
      • Example
        • Sue and the Great Whale follows her adventures tracking a whale with her father, a marine biologist. Together they follow the patterns of an endangered whale along the Atlantic Coast. During their travels Sue's father teaches her about the cycle of life in the oceans and the dangers of oil spills.
    2. Subunits of Book (Optional)

      Enter subunits of the content of the book such as short story titles, chapters, poems, etc. from the the table of contents or subunit heading. Please list no more than 15 units. The subunits will give readers a greater understanding of what is inside your book and help us categorize it better. Please put each subunit on its own line.
      • Example
        • Book: Mother Goose
        • Subunits:
          1. Humpty Dumpty
          2. Ring O' Roses
    3. Reader Notes (Optional)

      Reader notes should provide additional information that might be of interest but are not found in the abstract. Please keep a child audience in mind.
      • Example
        • The letters I and J were often used interchangeably when this book was written so there is no page for the letter I.
    4. Subjects and Keywords (Recommended)

      We ask contributors for their own keywords so that we can gain more information from them about what they think the book is about and expand our hierarchy as needed. However, we will use their subjects and elements from the abstract to fit their information into our own subject thesaurus.
      1. Focus on what categories would really help a child or educator find a book easily.
      2. Feel free to use as many keywords as you want.
      3. Please choose phrases that best describe the topic of the book.
      • Examples
        • art
        • birds
        • family
    5. Type: Fiction or Nonfiction (Recommended)

      1. Fiction books are "made up," literary works produced by the author's imagination.
        • Examples
          • Alice in Wonderland
      2. Non-Fiction books are "true," informational works that deal with actual, real-life subjects.
        • Examples
          • Rabbits in Nature
    6. Genre (Recommended)

      Genre describes the general style, form, or content of the book. Please choose from one of genre categories in the ICDL list on the form. If you believe that your book does not fall in one of the genres we've selected below, or if you have other suggestions for genre, please list them under the notes section. For some ideas and definitions of other genres, check out the California Department of Education's Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve.

      Definitions of ICDL Genres:

      1. Action Adventure

        Action adventure books (also known as adventure stories) contain fast moving stories, which involve confronting and, ultimately, overcoming a problem or challenge. Action adventure books deal with subjects like the outdoors, sports, or exploring.
      2. Classics

        Classics books have stood the test of time and continue to be recommended and read. Modern classics like Charlotte's Web are included here.
      3. Concept Books

        These books aim to teach fundamental skills to the readers such as numbers, colors, or shapes. Stories with moral lessons most likely belong with fairy and folk tales.
      4. Folk and Fairy Tales

        Folk tales usually come from an oral tradition (handed down by word of mouth). Fairy tales are a subunit of folk tales and involve fairies or other beings with magical powers, and often include a lesson and generally end with good triumphing over evil.
      5. Funny / Humorous

        These stories are often silly and intend to make the audience laugh. An example is a collection of jokes or a humorous book like Captain Underpants.
      6. Historical Fiction

        These are realistic stories set in the past, an example is Little House on the Prairie.
      7. Mystery

        Mystery books focus on finding a solution or answer to something secret or unknown in the story.
      8. Plays

        These are books with roles and scripts, which readers can act out.
      9. Poetry / Rhyming Books / Songs

        These are collections of poems, rhymes, or songs.
      10. Scary / Horror

        Suspenseful stories intend to frighten, or in some manner disturb the reader.
      11. Science Fiction and Fantasy

        Science fiction stories often involve real or imagined technology and other world beings. They are usually set in another time period and/or on other planets. Fantasy, like science fiction, uses imaginary places and beings to create another world for the story.
      12. Short Story collections

        These are collections of brief stories, which often contain only one main plotline.
    7. Setting: When & Where (Recommended)

      The setting when/where the book takes place, not when the book was published or necessarily when the author lived. Please do not include any information if the setting is not explicitly specified in the book.
      1. When

        The default calendar type is Gregorian, please list the calendar if it is other than Gregorian. You don't have to list a specific time. You can say "prehistory or ancient history."
      2. Where

        You don't have to list a specific or real place or country. You can say "imaginary place" if there is no definite place existing now that the stories takes place in.
    8. Age Range (Recommended)

      If provided by the creator or the publisher, enter the age range for which the book is intended or useful. If you do not have information from the creator or publisher, use your judgment, and list the appropriate age range or if you are unsure of the range, start with an age and add a plus sign.
      • Example
        • Worms in the Ground: 3+ or 3-7
    9. Award(s) (Optional)

      If the book has received an award, enter the complete name and date of the award.
      • Example
        • Name of Award: White Ravens Honorary
        • Date: 1997
  8. Submission Information/Notes

    1. Cataloger: Your Contact Information (Required)

      Enter the full name of whoever prepared this metadata. It is required for you to write down some way for us to reach you. Please write down your address in a way that is recognized by International mail. Remember that you are agreeing that all the information included in the form is correct to the best of your ability.
      • Example
        • Name: John Smith
        • Title: Author
        • Mailing Address:
          1120 Maryland Way
          College Park, MD 20742
          United States of America
        • Phone Number: 301-555-4444
        • Email:
    2. Contributor (Parts Required)

      The book contributor is the organization who recommended the book to us. Please list the contribution source, country, and contribution type, such as agency, library, publishing house, or independent creator.
      1. Contribution Source (Required)

        Enter the name of the organization or company.
        • Example
          • Swiss National Library
      2. Contribution Country (Required)

        • Example
          • Switzerland
      3. Contribution Type (Recommended)

        Such as agency, library, publishing house, independent creator, etc.
        • Example
          • Contribution Source: Purple Grass
          • Contributing Country: England
          • Contributor Type: Publisher
    3. Notes (Optional)

      Descriptive information not given in other areas. Notes may qualify any other description and can deal with any aspect of an item. They can include additional descriptive information associated with biographical information creators, or purpose of the book, critical or interpretative reviews of the book, and reasons for selection for contribution. Feel free to list any questions you might have for us here as well.
      • Example
        • The author Jane Doe has written and illustrated 23 children books, two of which were made into plays. Deer at Dawn uses elegant watercolors to reveal the connection between animals, their environment, predators, and humans. On July 5th, 1996, the New York Times described Deer at Dawn as "the only children's book this year to truly appeal to both children and adults on a emotional and intellectual level." Many experts consider the book submitted as one of her best books.