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Summary of Better Practices for Journal Metadata

Metadata is an essential aspect of academic publishing. It ensures accurate identification of a journal’s content and can improve discoverability, access, dissemination, preservation, and, arguably, research impact. The most important step to better metadata is due diligence.

For best results, OJS journals should:

  • Regularly review journal-level metadata and settings. Make sure to check all your settings but, in particular, review:
    • Administration > Site Settings > Languages
    • Settings > Journal > Masthead and Sections
    • Settings > Workflow > Metadata
  • Provide as much information about your journal as you can in the About the Journal section.
  • Review About the Journal regularly to keep it up to date.
  • Remember that metadata describes the articles in your publication. It is not a way to manipulate the design or layout of your journal website.
    • Avoid stylistic decisions in journal metadata.
    • Use custom themes instead.
  • Be consistent across your publication and make sure your metadata matches your published PDFs.
  • Only use one language per metadata field.
  • Don’t paste metadata directly from word processing software like Microsoft Word.
    • Instead, clear formatting using Notepad (Windows) or pasting without formatting with Option+Command+Shift+V (Mac).
  • Review all metadata for articles prior to publication. Once your material is published, any indexing or harvesting services may start pulling your metadata before you have time to make changes.
    • “Measure twice, cut once.”