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Creating Metadata

How to Create Metadata for Articles

By creating metadata for journal articles, authors and publishers document key elements relating to their works. This metadata facilitates data exchange between authors, publishers, the scientific community and other online service providers.

The following outlines the basic steps for creating metadata for articles:

  1. Identify the basic elements of your articles, including citation elements (author, title, journal, volume, issue, etc.) and any other elements associated with your articles (URL, DOI, ISSN, etc.).

  2. Create a Document Type Definition (DTD) for your articles consisting of those elements, and including the body of the article. A DTD is a structured, tagged representation of an article.
    Your DTD might include the following:
    <article text></article text>

    Other information as publisher sees fit.


A copy of a DOI DTD created by the American Mathematical Society for AMS Electronic Journals is available. The AMS DOI DTD is XML compliant.

  1. Using scripts (ideally) or via manual re-keying, incorporate data for your journal articles into your DTD structure. Create one data file per article. For example:
Your data file might resemble the one here:
<author>W. H. Jaco</author>
<title>PL minimal surfaces in $3$-manifolds.</title>
<URL>J. Differential Goem.</URL>
<article text>The body of the article included here. </article text>

Other information as publisher sees fit

A sample AMS data file using a DTD created by the American Mathematical Society for AMS Electronic Journals is available for your use.

  1. Using scripts, publishers can construct webpages using the elements of your DTD and the data files containing information regarding your articles. Scripts dictate where DTD elements are displayed on a page.  A DTD enables you to modify the display of your pages without manipulating the content of each article.

For example, the Table of Contents and Abstract pages for AMS electronic journal articles are constructed via scripts using a DTD and data files similar to above.

  1. Using a DTD and data files, information regarding your articles can easily and accurately be communicated to other members of the mathematical community, publishers, or online service providers.

The AMS uses a DTD and data files to communicate AMS online journals data to journal aggregators, including: OCLC, Swets, Crossref and EBSCO.

The AMS also uses a DTD and data files to register AMS journal articles for Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs).

How to Register Article DOI's

A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a persistent link identifier for articles or other types of electronic information.

The American Mathematical Society currently registers for DOI's for all AMS electronic journal articles. The DOI Foundation maintains a persistent URL for each AMS journal article. (a URL is required for DOI registration.) Therefore, other publishers or authors can link to AMS journal articles using DOIs.

The following are the basic steps required to obtain DOI's for your articles:

  1. Before a publisher can register individual articles, the publisher needs to establish a DOI prefix. A DOI Prefix is a 4 digit number identifying a particular publisher.  For instance, the AMS DOI prefix is "1090".

    Obtain a DOI prefix from an official DOI Registration Agency. CrossRef is the only official Registration Agency currently available for scientific publishing.

    There is a fee for obtaining a DOI prefix.
  1. Work with CrossRef (or the appropriate Registration Agency) to determine the DTD (required elements) to be sent regarding each article.

    The DTD used by the AMS for DOI registration as well as a sample AMS data file for DOI registration are available from our site.

  2. Using scripts, create data files in the required DTD registration format.

  3. Using scripts, transfer data files to the Registration Agency as articles or journal issues are published. This is an ongoing process.

    CrossRef charges a fee for registering each article.

  4. Upon registration, CrossRef records the DOI for associating information with each article. AMS DOI are in the format prefix / suffix.

    Using DOIs, other publishers, authors, or researchers can construct DOI-based links to your journal articles.

    Information for constructing and viewing DOI-based links is available through our site.

  5. To identify DOI's for articles of other publishers, CrossRef offers lookup facilities.

    There is no fee for DOI lookups - and there is no fee to utilize CrossRef links.