Module 6: Checkpoint 8—Metadata

Conformance: Mandatory


Metadata must be added to all non-HTML documents.

The minimum metadata requirements for non-HTML documents are:

  • Title - this field must contain the full title of your document (not the document filename).
  • Subject (description) - this is a concise (i.e. fewer than 150 characters), free-text description of the content and/or purpose of the document.
  • Author - this field must contain 'Queensland Government' at a minimum.
  • Keywords - this should contain keywords and/or phrases that add value or provide alternative terms/expressions to the content, such as synonyms. Use commas (,) not semi-colons (;) to separate individual keywords and phrases.

Exceptions to this include:

Benefits of conformance

  • An organisation's customers will be able to find information and services offered by the organisation more easily.
  • Web-based search engines are able to present users with relevant and meaningful 'hits'in response to search requests.
  • Consistent and standardised metadata across Government agencies allows more accurate resource discovery; people should be able to locate the resources they need without having to possess a detailed knowledge of where the resources are located or who is responsible for them.
  • By ensuring high-quality information and services are readily available to users, return on investment (ROI) to agencies is achieved; users will be less reliant on traditional, more costly channels such as print, face-to-face and call centres.

Risks of non-conformance

  • Effort and commitment is required to support the creation and maintenance of metadata for an organisation's resources; the initial effort may be high, but over time the benefits are long-term and worthwhile.

Implementation advice


Metadata must be added to non-HTML documents to ensure users retrieve all relevant online resources in the most effective and efficient manner. At its most basic level, metadata is essentially 'data about data' that is created specifically to describe a resource. It provides basic information such as the title, author, subject matter of the item described, and descriptive keywords.

Metadata facilitates the discovery and use of an agency's resources online by providing information that aids and increases the ease with which information can be located by search engines that index metadata. The Queensland Government uses the Australian Government Locator Service (AGLS) Metadata Standard, containing 19 AGLS metadata elements for all resources.

The AGLS Metadata Standard is a set of descriptive elements which government departments and agencies use to improve the visibility and accessibility of their services and information.