How are metadata values presented in DITA publications?

In DITA publications, metadata values may be presented to provide contextual information about the content. They are essential in DITA publications to convey information about the content, such as the document title, author, publication date, and more.

Metadata values are typically presented as title, author and contributor, publication date, version, copyright and legal, and custom metadata values.

  • Title Metadata: The document title, which represents the topic or publication’s name, is often prominently displayed at the beginning of the content. It’s usually formatted in a larger or distinctive font to make it stand out. For example, in a user manual, the title “User Guide” might appear at the top of each section.
  • Author and Contributor Metadata: The author’s name, as well as contributions from other contributors, can be presented near the title or in a footer section. It’s common to use smaller text or italics for these details. For example, “Written by John Doe” might be displayed at the bottom of a topic.
  • Publication Date Metadata: The publication date, which indicates when the content was created or last modified, is often found at the beginning or end of a topic, depending on the publication’s style. This information is vital for tracking the currency of the content. For example, “Published: September 15, 2023” could be displayed at the end of a topic.
  • Version Metadata: Information about the document’s version or revision is usually located near the title or publication date. It’s crucial for tracking changes in the content. For example, “Version 2.0” might be presented below the title.
  • Copyright and Legal Metadata: Statements about copyright, intellectual property rights, and legal disclaimers can be included at the beginning or end of a document to ensure compliance with legal requirements. These statements often appear in a small font in the footer or header.
  • Custom Metadata: Organizations can also include custom metadata, which is specific to their needs. This might include project-specific information, unique identifiers, or custom copyright notices. Custom metadata presentation can vary based on an organization’s preferences.


A DITA-based user manual for a software product presents metadata values as described:

  • Title Metadata: The document title “User Manual” is displayed at the top of each section in a larger, bold font to clearly identify the document.
  • Author Metadata: The author’s name, “John Doe,” is included at the bottom of each topic, usually in a smaller font to provide credit for the content.
  • Publication Date Metadata: The publication date “Published: September 15, 2023” is presented at the end of each topic to indicate when the content was last updated.
  • Version Metadata: The software version, “Version 2.0,” is displayed below the title to inform users of the product’s version.
  • Copyright Metadata: The copyright notice, “© 2023 Software Company, Inc. All rights reserved,” is included at the end of the manual to assert copyright and intellectual property rights.
  • Custom Metadata: The organization may include custom metadata, such as a unique project identifier, which could be displayed in a designated section or included as part of the title or footer.

By presenting metadata values in this manner, DITA publications provide users with essential context, such as the document’s title, authorship, version, and legal information, ensuring clarity and compliance with publication standards.