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MODS User Guidelines (ver. 3) Home » Top-level Elements and Attributes » DLF/Aquifer Implementation Guidelines

DLF/Aquifer Summary of MODS Requirements and Recommendations Table

This table was developed as part of the Digital Library Federation / Aquifer Implementation Guidelines for Shareable MODS Records. It summarizes the recommendations from those guidelines for the different MODS elements.  The table follows the language of RFC2119  in expressing requirements and recommendations for MODS encoding practices. These are as follows:

  • "REQUIRED" designates an item that is an absolute requirement of the guidelines.
  • "REQUIRED IF APPLICABLE" designates an item that is an absolute requirement of the guidelines if it is applicable to the resource being described.
  • "RECOMMENDED" designates an item that an implementer may ignore, but only after fully weighing the implications of doing so.
  • "RECOMMENDED IF APPLICABLE" designates an item that is applicable to the resource being described and an implementer may ignore, but only after fully weighing the implications of doing so.
  • "OPTIONAL" designates an item that may use at the implementer's discretion.
  • "NOT RECOMMENDED" designates an item that an implementer may use, but only after fully weighing the implications of doing so. This item is discouraged.
Element Requirement Level Subelements/Attributes required if element used Subelements/Attributes recommended or recommended if applicable Repeatable Content Controlled
<titleInfo> Required – <title> – type attribute
– authority attribute
– <subTitle>
– <partName>
– <partNumber>
– <nonSort>
Yes Recommended authority attribute limits content
<name> Recommended if applicable – <namePart> – type attribute
– authority attribute
– <role><roleTerm>
Yes Recommended authority attribute limits content
<typeOfResource> Required None – collection attribute
– manuscript attribute
Yes Yes
<genre> Recommended – authority attribute N/A Yes Recommended authority attribute limits content
<originInfo> Required – <placeTerm> and type attribute when <place> used
– authority attribute when <placeTerm type="code"> used
– At least one date subelement
– At least one date subelement must have attribute keyDate="yes"
– <publisher>
– encoding attribute for date
– point attribute for date
– qualifier attribute for date
– <edition>
Yes Recommended authority and encoding attribute limits content
<language> Required, if language is primary to resource – <languageTerm>
– each type attribute
– authority attribute when type="code"
N/A Yes Required authority attribute limits content
<physicalDescription> Required – <digitalOrigin>
– <internetMediaType>
– <form> and authority attribute
– <extent>
– <note>
No Yes (see guidelines)
<abstract> Recommended N/A N/A Yes No
<tableOfContents> Recommended if applicable None – xlink attribute Yes No
<targetAudience> Recommended if applicable None – authority attribute Yes Recommended authority attribute limits content
<note> Recommended if applicable None None Yes No
<subject> Required if applicable At least one subelement is required as <subject> is a wrapper element. – authority attribute

– <topic>

– <geographic>

– <temporal> with encoding, point attributes

– <titleInfo>

– <name>

– <hierarchicalGeographic>

– <geographicCode> with authority attribute
Yes Recommended authority attribute limits content
<classification> Optional – authority attribute – edition attribute Yes Required authority attribute limits content
<relatedItem> Recommended if applicable – type attribute – xlink attribute Yes In some cases (see guidelines)
<identifier> Recommended – type attribute – invalid attribute Yes Required type attribute limits content
<location> Required – <url>

– one and only one instance of <location> <url> contains usage="primary display"
– authority attribute with <physicalLocation> subelement
– access attribute with <url> subelement
Yes Recommended authority attribute limits content
<accessCondition> Required – At least one attribute type="use and reproduction" None Yes No
<part> Recommended if applicable (see guidelines) None – <detail> with type attribute
– <extent> with unit attribute
– <start>, <end>, <total>, <list> subelements
– <date> with encoding and point attributes
– <text>
Yes No
<extension> Optional N/A N/A N/A N/A
<recordInfo> Required – <languageOfCataloging>
– <languageTerm>
– authority attribute
– <recordContentSource> with authority attribute
– <recordOrigin>
No Required authority attribute limits content in some subelements

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Last Updated: August 2, 2018