National Digital Learning Resources Network

  • Developing digital resources
  • Standards for digital resources
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Editorial style for metadata

When creating metadata there are certain characters that are best avoided as they can cause problems in downstream systems, displaying as gobbledegook on users’ computers.

Education Services Australia prefers not to include any of the following characters in metadata:

  • bullets
  • en or em dashes – use a spaced hyphen for a textual dash
  • curly (smart) quotation marks – set your computer for straight (dumb) quotes
  • bold and italic text – use single quote marks for anything that would normally be in italics
  • underlining
  • slashes
  • subscripts and superscripts
  • ampersands – spell out as ‘and’.

Education Services Australia editorial style is informed by the Style manual for authors, editors and printers (6th edn, Wiley). The Education Services Australia Editorial guide for metadata provides alternatives to those styles that are affected by the metadata restrictions, such as italics for book titles and the inability to use bullets for lists.

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