Metadata Guidelines

All metadata fields in the NCS (the howtosmile cataloging tool) have a link to the Guidelines, which gives the cataloger more information about what to enter in that field. Some fields also have brief instructions or clarifications on the data entry page itself, i.e., for the url field, you’ll see “Enter the URL for the page that will be most useful to an educator for this resource.” For further information on the url field, you would click on Guidelines, in blue and just under the field name. Let us know if you have questions about any of the Guidelines, and please share good examples we should include here.

Download the howtosmile Metadata Guideline to learn more about the best practices we use to catalog activities into the collection.

howtosmile Metadata fields

Activity Basics

  • recordID
  • URL
  • title
  • subtitle
  • relatedURLs
  • description
  • subjects
  • informalCategories
  • keywords
  • ageRanges
  • resourceTypes
  • images
  • resourceLanguages
  • standardsUrl
  • assessmentsUrl
  • metadataSubmitter
  • metadataLanguage
  • moreInfo

Authorship, Rights

  • accessRights
  • resourceAuthors
  • printedMaterials
  • copyright
  • fundingSource
  • sourceInstitutions

Cost, Time, Materials

  • preparationTime
  • learningTime
  • materialsList
  • individualOrGroupMaterials
  • estimatedMaterialsCost


  • accessibility
  • targetedStudentPopulations
  • learningStyles
  • cultureEthnicityGender

Place and Time

  • placeName
  • geographicalCoordinates
  • time