Metadata for Web Area Homepages

Metadata is required for any page published through Drupal WebCMS.  

When you submit a request to create a web area, you must include specific metadata information.  You can also edit the web area page to add additional metadata. 

On this page:


Metadata tag: "DC.description" 


  • Write a short statement, one to two sentences long, describing the content of your site.  Be specific to your topic and provide context so that users will select your link from their RSS feeds or search results.  Highlight key concepts or issues.
    • Poor: "This site is..."
    • Better: "Water pollution is..." (because it uses critical search terms while describing the topic)
  • Include critical, important search terms for your site.  

Do Not:

  • Do not exactly copy the web area name into the description field.
  • Do not generalize.  Do not describe the site itself, the navigational choices, the environment or EPA in general (unless your web area is about creating web sites or the Agency itself).  

Description Examples





As part of efforts to improve preparedness and the ability to respond to terrorist attacks, EPA has been called upon to play a strategic role in homeland security

Provides context for the web area by describing key issues, includes critical search terms ("preparedness", "terrorist", "security").


EPA's Homeland Security web site

Does not provide any critical search terms beyond the area name ("Homeland Security").  Is much too general, providing no clues as to what information is found on the website.


Green Sports addresses environmental issues such as waste management, water and energy conservation and sustainability for teams and at stadiums and sporting venues.

Briefly summarizes what the topic is about; provides critical search terms ("waste", "water", "stadiums", "teams").


A web site that enables users (both internal and external to EPA) to retrieve current information on the Agency’s involvement in green sports

Does not provide any critical search terms beyond the area name ("Green Sports").  Does not describe what the "current information" actually is or what EPA's is involved in. 

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Metadata tag: “keywords”

Your most critical, important search terms should be in the web area's page title and description.  Keywords are the additional terms that your users may employ to search for the homepage.   Read more about keywords in Metadata.


  • Pull keywords from the actual text of your homepage.  Look for terms in your headings, anchor links, introductory paragraphs, etc.
  • Remember, your most important terms belong in the page title and description.
  • Be selective with keywords.   In most cases, ten or less keywords per document are sufficient.
  • Separate keywords with a comma.

Do not:

  • Do not repeat terms from the title or description.
  • Do not create keywords for every possible combination of terms, or for capitalization, plurals, etc.
  • Do not use the same keywords for entire set of pages in a web area or TSSMS.
  • Do not use general terms, such as “EPA” and “environment”.

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Metadata tag: “DC.type”

Indicates the type of information that your page contains and ties it to EPA’s content review schedule.  Read more about Type in Metadata


  • You can only choose one type for each page.
  • Read the scope notes below to determine the type best describing the majority of content on your page.
    • Web area home pages are most likely to be “Collections & Lists”.  These pages typically provide very little in-depth content. 

Do Not: 

  • Do not apply Overview & Factsheets by default. Not all content is an overview and/or factsheet.



Scope Note

Announcements & Schedules

News, news releases, calendars, comment schedules, meeting agendas, Requests for Proposals, job announcements, etc.

Collections & Lists

Lists of links, bibliographies, recommended resource lists, hubs, etc.

Contact Information

A list of the addresses, phone/FAX numbers, and affiliations of a specific individual, groups of people, companies, organizations, publications, etc. May include additional information such as professional titles or credentials.

Data & Tools

Models, methods, maps, data files, databases, glossaries, software, tutorials, etc.

Overviews & Factsheets

Factsheets, Frequent Questions pages, Basic Information pages, etc.

Policies & Guidance

Internal and external policies, guidance and guidelines related to agency operations and/or regulatory compliance & enforcement. Includes proposed rules, MOUs, Judicial Decisions, International Agreements, etc.

Reports & Assessments

In-depth information, toxicity assessments, budgets, strategic plans, conference proceedings, etc.

Speeches, Testimony & Transcripts

A written record of dictated or recorded speech. Includes correspondence.

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Metadata tag: “DC.Subject.epachannel”

Channels are content distribution and publication channels for the top level of EPA’s Information Architecture.  Find more information about Channels in Metadata or view EPA Channels in the Web Taxonomy.


  • Read the scope notes below to determine the channel that best fits your content.
  • Select at least one channel for your web area. You can select multiple channels:
    • Select channels that best describes the majority of your content.
      • If your page has both scientific and regulatory content, apply both channels. If you have educational content, scientific content, and information about the Agency, apply three channels.
      • If all four channels apply, you may want to re-think the content on your page. 

Do Not:

  • Do not apply "Learn the Issues" to every page unless that content is actually appropriate to that channel. Content that is specific to "Laws & Regulations" should not also be tagged "Learn the Issues" by default.  

EPA Channels

Channel Name

Scope Notes

Laws & Regulations

Materials and content related to the legal and regulatory responsibilities and programs of the agency. Including, but not limited to, compliance and enforcement activities, guidance, regulatory development, permitting programs, etc.

Science & Technology

Materials, tools and content and related to the scientific, technical and research activities of the agency. Including, but not limited to, methods, models, research programs and plans, laboratories, software and databases, science products, etc.

Learn the Issues

Educational and consumer information as well as general or basic information related to all topics. Including, but not limited to, health and safety information, environmental emergency information and contacts, household management information (e.g. energy efficiency, recycling and waste reduction, chemical use and storage info, etc.), local information, etc.

About EPA

Information about the agency itself. Including, but not limited to, information about its leadership, its organization, its budget, its strategic plans, etc.

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You do not need to complete metadata titles in Drupal WebCMS.  Title is still a required field for all content, but the CMS creates the metadata for you.

When you create a new web area, the metadata title ("dc.title") is automatically created from the the short name.  Follow the Web Standard for Area Names.

  • The short name is also used for microsite breadcrumbs, resource directory hublinks, in URLs, and the html title tag (<title>).

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The publishing office name and division name are required to submit a request to create a new web area.  Once your web area is created, publisher metadata will be included.  When you edit your home page, you do not need to complete the publisher metadata.  

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Taxonomy Topics and Facets

Multiple metadata tags, see table below.  This is not a required field for requesting to create a new web area.

The EPA Web Taxonomy allows audiences easy access to relevant information from EPA programs, by using a common vocabulary to describe EPA web content. The web taxonomy is organized into multiple facets, arranged hierarchically (see table below).


  • Lookup terms and descriptions first in the Web Taxonomy or search across all facets and topics in the Web Taxonomy Search
  • Choose terms that are as broad or narrow as the content dictates.
  • Choose terms that describe a significant portion of the content.

Do Not:

  • Leave all topics and facets blank. At least one topic or one facet should apply to the page.
  • Do not choose terms that are only somewhat related to the page content or are about the web area in general.

Taxonomy Topics and Facets


Name and Link

Metadata Tag

Subtopics and facets


Cooperation and Assistance


Advising & consulting, community assistance, environmental justice, financial assistance, international cooperation, partnerships


Emergencies and Cleanup


Cleanup processes, cleanup sites, accidents, emergency management, natural disasters


Environmental Media


Air, soils & land, species, water, wastewater, water pollution




Human health conditions or concerns, food safety, health effects, special populations


Pollution Prevention


Conservation, energy efficiency, fuel economy, pollution prevention, renewable energy, sustainable development, waste reduction


Regulatory and Industrial


Compliance & enforcement, permitting programs, regulated facilities, regulatory development, substances management,


Research, Analysis and Technology


Environmental technology, research & analysis


EPA Operations

DC. Subject.epaopt

Budget, facilities management, human resrouces management, information management, legal services, legislative & intergovernmental relations, standards for government conduct, technology management, travel




Community organizers & educators, concerned citizens & students, kids, regulated community, research & technology community


Geographic Locations


International regions, United States, Territories, Water Bodies




Chemicals, consumer products, fuels, human health disruptors, munitions, pesticides, pollutants & contaminants, radiation & radioactive substances, wastes


Environmental Laws, Regulations and Treaties


Executive orders, judicial decisions, regulations, statutes, treaties & agreements




Agriculture, banking, construction, manufacturing, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, real estate, service industries, transportation and warehousing, utilities, waste management & remediation


Agency Function


Management of government resources, mode of delivery, services for citizens, support delivery of services

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