home | about | ask | online publications | online resources | related projects | events
CTI logo Bibliographies and Electronic Sources
Basic Essential Metadata for Web Pages

Some Practical Tips | Essential Citation Information | Useful Web Resources
Return to Workshop Resources Index

Given the lack of conventions for publishing on the Web, the MLA have produced the Draft Guidelines reproduced below recommending conventions for providing online information about Web sites intended for use by students, teachers and scholars in the modern languages. The intention is to improve the ease, the confidence and the accuracy with which such material may be used and cited.

  • Sponsoring information. Indicate whether the site is sponsored by an educational institution, academic organization, government office, museum, or other organization.
  • Purpose. Indicate the purpose(s) that informed the design of the site.
  • Contact information. Provide telephone or fax numbers, e-mail addresses, or postal addresses.
  • Update and archive notices. Provide the date of the last update, the author of the last update, and (optionally) a revision history. It is particularly important to provide revision histories for scholarly resources after they are mounted on a Web site to alert readers of changes that may have been made to a cited version of the Web site. Archives of significant earlier versions of Web texts should be maintained by the author(s), and directions for accessing or requesting those archives should be included in the site information.
  • Software considerations. Note browser features or plug-ins supported or required by the Web site. Note any provision for readers with special needs (text-only versions, audio supplements, and so on).
  • Citations and permissions. List all credits, acknowledgments, and permissions.
  • Copyright declaration. Include an explicit statement of appropriate uses for the site. Note whether users may copy and use graphic elements or quote the text.
  • Site configuration. Indicate whether a table of contents, site map, index, bibliography, or other apparatus accompanies the site.
  • Site-information tags. To aid Web searches, include a "<Title>" tag and a "<Meta>" keywords tag in the document head.

MLA Committee on Computers and Emerging Technologies in Teaching and Research, 'Draft Guidelines for Providing Web-Site Information', (19 July 1998), available at:

Some Practical Tips | Essential Citation Information | Useful Web Resources
Return to Workshop Resources Index

HTML Author:Stuart Sutherland
This page last modified:10 May 1999

The URL of this page is http://info.ox.ac.uk/service/workshop/bibes-meta.html