Can metadata be used to define industry-specific information in DITA?

Yes, metadata can be used to define industry-specific information in DITA. This practice allows organizations to tailor their content to the unique requirements and standards of specific industries or domains. Here’s a detailed explanation:

DITA is a structured content framework that provides flexibility and reusability of content across various contexts. Metadata in DITA serves to provide information about topics, maps, and other elements within the DITA framework. Industry-specific metadata allows organizations to categorize, customize, and manage content based on the needs of different industries or domains.

Defining Industry-Specific Information with Metadata

Defining industry-specific information with metadata involves customization, content tagging, filtering and personalization, localization, search and retrieval, and content reuse.

Metadata Customization

DITA allows organizations to create custom metadata elements or extend existing ones to accommodate industry-specific information. These custom metadata elements can include attributes related to industry standards, regulations, terminology, or any other domain-specific requirements.

Content Tagging

Custom metadata elements are used to tag content items, such as topics, sections, or elements, with industry-specific information. For example, a medical equipment manufacturer may use custom metadata to indicate compliance with healthcare regulations for certain topics.

Filtering and Personalization

Industry-specific metadata enables content filtering and personalization. Content can be selectively included or excluded based on industry tags, ensuring that readers see only the information relevant to their specific domain.


Industries often have specific language variations or regional requirements. Metadata can be used to indicate language variations or regional adaptations, ensuring that content is culturally appropriate.

Search and Retrieval

Metadata enhances content discoverability. Industry-specific metadata allows users to search for and retrieve content tailored to their industry or domain, making information retrieval more efficient.

Content Reuse

By using industry-specific metadata, organizations can effectively reuse content across different industries while customizing it as needed. This reduces redundancy and streamlines content management.


A software company develops products for both the healthcare and finance industries. They use industry-specific metadata to categorize and manage their content:

    <!-- Healthcare-specific metadata -->

    <!-- Finance-specific metadata -->

In this example, the <industry> and <regulation> metadata elements are used to specify the industry context and relevant regulations for the content. This allows the software company to maintain separate healthcare and finance content while utilizing the same DITA framework.