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Metadata Policy

This policy outlines the principles for the creation and management of collection metadata for all learning, teaching and research resources managed by the Library.

Collection metadata is a key asset that -

  • enables the UCA community to discover the vast range of resources available, thereby supporting and enhancing learning, teaching and research practice
  • enables the management of resources through inventory control, collection analysis and preservation activities
  • ensures the University’s investment in its collections is maximised by enabling effective discovery and use of these resources




Metadata Management


Archives and Special Collections



Digital Collections

ResourceBank (images, student work, dissertations)

Dublin Core

Library Collections (including - print and electronic books and journals; rare books; artists books; zines and audio-visual material)


MARC21, RDA, AACR2, DDC23, Library of Congress Name Authorities, Library of Congress Subject Headings, Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms

Materials Collection



Reading Lists

Talis Aspire

Metadata harvested from Library catalogues; Dublin Core

Research Outputs


Dublin Core

Theses and dissertations

UCARO (theses); ResourceBank (dissertations); and Symphony (metadata)

Dublin Core, AACR2

Visual Arts Data Service (VADS)


VRA Core 4


Collection metadata will be managed and developed in accordance with the following principles -

  • metadata will be treated as an important asset and managed in the same way as other digital assets
  • metadata will be fit for purpose, with effective and timely creation to meet the needs of users and stakeholders
  • metadata will be created in accordance with accepted national, international and/or industry standards, with local modifications reviewed and agreed with the Metadata Librarian
  • metadata will be stored securely to guard against corruption or deletion
  • metadata for new collections will be determined through appropriate liaison with the Metadata Librarian

Statement on potentially harmful language in collection metadata
The Library aims to describe the collections we manage in a manner that is respectful to the individuals and groups who create, use, and are represented within them. What constitutes appropriate description varies with context over time and is affected by the descriptive standards we apply.

Recognized international standards are used to standardize searching across our catalogues. We are aware that some of these terms are outdated and/or harmful, and efforts are underway within library communities to update and change these terms.

We work to balance efficient and timely cataloguing, description, and preservation of original context with an awareness of the importance of language and its effect on our users. If you encounter language in our Library catalogue records or digitized collections that you find harmful or offensive, please email (see Take Down Notice for further details).

Metadata for each resource in the UCA collections will be created or acquired as early in the lifecycle of a resource as possible, usually at point of order, accession or creation. This will ensure that resources are discoverable as soon as possible to support user access as well as providing up to date collections information for staff to avoid duplication of supply.

Retrospective cataloguing and classification will be undertaken where required to enhance the quality of existing collection metadata where these fall below emerging standards.

If a resource is reserved and it is not possible to create a full metadata description immediately, a basic record will be created consisting of title and identifier, and retrospective cataloguing and classification will be undertaken as soon as possible thereafter. Any changes in the availability of, or access to, a resource will be reflected as soon as possible to ensure that accurate information is always presented to users.

The Library will review this Policy every year and any significant changes will be considered and approved by the Director of Student Services.


January 2024
Review: January 2025