How does specialization for metadata differ from content specialization in DITA?

In DITA, specialization for metadata and content specialization serve different purposes:

Specialization for Metadata: Specialization for metadata involves customizing the metadata used to describe topics, such as title, subject, author, and publication date. This customization focuses on defining additional metadata elements specific to an organization’s needs, beyond the standard metadata fields. These customized metadata elements are used to provide additional context, categorization, or information about topics. Metadata specialization is valuable for tailoring metadata to meet an organization’s specific requirements for cataloging and retrieval.

Content Specialization: Content specialization, on the other hand, is about customizing the actual content within DITA topics. It involves creating specialized elements and attributes tailored to a specific domain, industry, or content type. Content specialization allows for the introduction of elements that describe domain-specific concepts, structures, or terminology within the content. It aims to structure and format the content itself to meet the requirements of a particular industry or use case.

While metadata specialization focuses on enriching topic metadata to improve cataloging and retrieval, content specialization focuses on adapting the content structure and elements to align with specific content requirements, making it useful for diverse industries and use cases.


In metadata specialization, an organization may introduce custom metadata elements like <source-system> and <revision-history> to provide additional context about the source of the content and its revision history.

<source-system>Acme Documentation System</source-system>
  <revision-description>Updated content based on user feedback.</revision-description>