Required Metadata for PDF Documents

EPA builds all web content in the Drupal WebCMS as of January 2013. All new microsites and resource directories will be created using Drupal.  There is still content on EPA's legacy servers and this content will be maintained there until it is transformed and moved into the Drupal WebCMS.  The following information should be used only for minor updates/maintenance of existing pages; any significant updates or revisions to existing pages should be done in the context of One EPA Web content transformation into the Drupal WebCMS

Metadata should provide succinct, descriptive information of an HTML page or PDF document.  Metadata is used to describe the page it lives on, not an entire web area, site, or TSSMS account. Having metadata can influence and improve search results, as well as give you greater control over your content.  Read more about Metadata.

This information is for PDFs created outside of Drupal WebCMS. See: Metadata for Document Pages.

Required Fields


Use the Adobe Acrobat Document Properties Window to add or edit metadata:

 

Title

There is no character limit for this field.

Do:

  • Include your most important or critical search terms in the title.
  • Make your title understandable without any other context (the area name, the HTML page it is linked from, etc.).
  • For complete PDFs with official titles, write the complete, official document title in the title field.
  • For segmented PDFs with official titles, include the complete, official document title along with the name of this specific segment.
    • segment examples: the chapter title, appendix, section name, etc.
  • For PDFs without official titles, briefly summarize the document content. Include details such as:
    • The type of document (letter, memo, etc.), the date of the document, and/or it's purpose (permit, review, etc.)

Do Not:

  • Do not use acronyms in the title unless you spell it out within the description or keyword fields.

You will fail the metadata error report...

if the field:

  • Does not contain two or more space-separated words.
  • Contains a backslash (\).
  • Contains telltale extensions like .html, .wpd, .doc or txt.

Title Examples:

  Title Why?
Good Guidelines for Water Reuse: September 2004: Chapter 2: Types of Reuse Applications Uses official document title and also includes information about this specific segment.
Bad Ch.2 Does not differentiate this document from any other “chapter two” on EPA.gov
Good DEIS Letter to Federal Highway Administration, CEQ 9154782, September 25, 201 Provides critical search terms such as the permit number and the letter recipient.
Bad DEIS Letter Does not differentiate this document from any other DEIS letter on EPA.gov

 

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Description (Subject)

In Adobe Acrobat, the description field is labeled “Subject.”

Do:

  • Write a short statement describing the document's content, highlighting key concepts or issues.
    • "This PDF is..." is a poor description; "Water pollution is..." is much better.
  • Include important search terms not already in your title.
  • Spell out any acronyms used in the title.
  • Must be 190 characters or less

Do Not:

  • Do not exactly copy the title or write the same description for every document in a set.

You will fail the metadata error report...

if the field:

  • Does not contain two or more space-separated words.
  • Contains a backslash (\).
  • Contains telltale extensions like .html, .wpd, .doc or .txt.
  • Is identical to the title.

Examples:

  Description Why?
Good Provides explanations of major water reuse application
types: urban, industrial, agricultural, environmental, recreational, groundwater recharge, and augmentation of potable supplies.
Short, yet provides context to the document and also incorporates critical search terms.
Bad Guidelines for Water Reuse. Copies the title field.

 

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Publisher (Author)

In Adobe Acrobat, the Publisher field is labeled “Author.”

Do:

  • Only list the web-owner that publishes the document to the web (your office, branch, lab, etc.), not the original author, the document creator, or even the originating EPA office, branch, or lab.
  • Follow this specific format:
    • US EPA, AA/RA, Real Owner (Lab/Center/Office/Division/Branch)
    • With the last and real owner spelled out.
    • The regional office name should always be spelled out

Do not:

  • Do not list the original author, document creator, publisher, or even the originating EPA office, branch or lab.

You will fail the metadata error report...

if the field:

  • Contains a backslash (\).
  • Contains the words "Creator" or "Author".
  • Contains telltale extensions like .html, .wpd, .doc or .txt.

Formatting Examples:

  Format
Program Office US EPA, Office of Air and Radiation
Lab US EPA, ORD, National Exposure Research Laboratory
SubOffice US EPA, OW, Office of Science and Technology
Division US EPA, ORD, Ecosystem Research Division
Regional Office with
Division
US EPA, Region 1, Superfund Division

 

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Keywords

Read more about keywords in Metadata.

Do:

  • Pull keywords from the actual text of your content.
    • Look for terms in your headings, table of contents, anchor links, introductory paragraphs, etc..
    • Remember, your most important terms belong in the title and/or description.
  • Be selective with keywords. In most cases, ten or less keywords per document are sufficient.
  • When possible, use commas to separate keywords. Different versions of Adobe sometimes convert commas to semicolons; this is fine.

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 documents in a web area or TSSMS.
  • Do not use general terms, such as “EPA” and “environment”.

You will fail the metadata error report...

if the field:

  • Contains a backslash (\).
  • Contains the word "keywords".
  • Contains telltale extensions like .html, .wpd, .doc or .txt.
  • Is identical to the title or description.

Examples:

  Keywords Why?
Good water reclamation, water reuse, EPA-625-R-04-108 Includes important search terms such as the EPA publication number.
Bad EPA, water, environment Uses general terms that do not help users searching for this specific content.

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