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MODS User Guidelines (ver. 3) »

MODS User Guidelines (Version 3)

This document should be used in conjunction with the Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) mappings (MARC to MODS and MODS to MARC) and Outline of Elements, as well as additional information that can be found on the MODS Web site. The guidelines are primarily intended to be used for assistance in creating original MODS records, although they may also be instructive in interpreting MODS records that have been converted from MARC 21 or for use in developing detailed conversion specifications. This document is currently being revised to reflect MODS version 3.5. The MODS User Guidelines are maintained by the Library of Congress with the MODS Editorial Committee.


  1. Introduction and Implementation
  2. MODS Elements and Attributes
  3. MODS "Lite"
  4. MODS Full Record Examples
  5. Alphabetical Index of MODS Elements by Element Name

DLF/Aquifer MODS Profile

In 2010, the MODS User Guidelines were combined with the guidelines developed in the Digital Library Federation (DLF) Aquifer Initiative that profiled the use of MODS for sharing metadata.   These DLF/Aquifer Implementation Guidelines for Shareable MODS Records were the result of a multi-institutional project that aggregated over 500,000 MODS metadata records for objects in nine formats and provided end user access to the aggregation (see American Social History Online).  At the end of the Initiative in 2009, work began to merge the DLF/Aquifer profile and guidelines with the MODS User Guidelines to enable the DLF/Aquifer guidelines to be kept current with the changes to MODS.  A section in the "Guidelines for Use" for MODS elements summarizes special DLF/Aquifer specifications and the DLF/Aquifer MODS profile is presented as a linked table.  Since the DLF/Aquifer guidelines took special note of the use of records by aggregators and references the DLF/NSDL Best Practices for Sharable Metadata, this information was also included. Introductory material from the DLF/Aquifer guidelines explains their context.



Last Updated: November 14, 2014