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MODS User Guidelines (ver. 3) Home » Top-level Elements and Attributes » Top-level Element: <tableOfContents>

Top-level Element: <tableOfContents>

Element <tableOfContents>
Definition A description of the contents of a resource.
Attributes type; displayLabel; shareable; altRepGroup; altFormat; contentType; xlink; lang; xml:lang; script; transliteration
Subelements None



Use of <tableOfContents> should be determined by the complexity of the resource and whether or not the information is readily available. If more structured information is needed, consider using <relatedItem> with the type="constituent" attribute instead.

  • A link to an external table of contents may be supplied in lieu of or in addition to this element's contents.
  • Repeating this element is not recommended.

Specific DLF/Aquifer Guidelines

The DLF/Aquifer Implementation Guidelines for Shareable MODS Records recommend the use of the <tableOfContents> element when applicable.

The use of the type attribute is not recommended due to its lack of controlled values.

The use of the displayLabel is optional. The displayLabel attribute may be used to indicate the preferred labeling when displayed by a metadata aggregator. Metadata aggregators may choose to ignore this attribute.

The use of the xlink attribute is recommended if applicable.

See the <tableOfContents> entry in the DLF/Aquifer Summary of MODS Requirements and Recommendations Table for further information on requirements of this element, its attributes, and subelements.

The DLF/NSDL Best Practices for Shareable Metadata External Link does not cover Table of Contents as a broad class of element.

Element Description




Identifies what type of contents is recorded.


There is no controlled list of table of contents types.



Identifies data that cannot be shared outside the institution.


This attribute is used with shareable="no" for data that may be proprietary or is rights protected and should not be used outside of a local system (such as providing to harvesters).

altRepGroup; altFormat; contentType; xlink; lang; xml:lang; script; transliteration; displayLabel

See the Attributes used throughout the schema for descriptions of each.


There are no subelements for <tableOfContents>.



<tableOfContents>A suitable tone ; Left hand colouring ; Rhythm and accent ; Tempo ; Flexibility ; Ornaments -- Sonata in D major, op. V, no. 1 / Corelli -- Sonata in G minor / Purcell (with Robert Donington, gamba) -- Forlane from Concert royal no. 3 / Couperin</tableOfContents>

<tableOfContents xlink:href=""/></tableOfContents>

<tableOfContents displayLabel="Chapters included in book">Bluegrass odyssey -- Hills of Tennessee -- Sassafrass -- Muddy river -- Take your shoes off Moses -- Don't let Smokey Mountain smoke get in your eyes -- Farewell party -- Faded love -- Super sonic bluegrass -- Old love letters -- Will the circle be unbroken</tableOfContents>

<tableOfContents type="partial contents" displayLabel="Partial Contents">Honey Boy - Hiawatha Song - Her Boy in Blue</tableOfContents>

<tableOfContents>Who made Web sites? - What could people do? - Search the archive - Visit this site - Analysis The September 11 Web Sphere </tableOfContents>

<tableOfContents shareable="no">Editorial board -- Update of autism: a review of 1300 reports puiblished in 2008 / John R. Hughes -- Effect of repeated administration of Annona diversifolia Saff. (ilama) extracts and palmitone on rat amygdala kindling / Ma. Eva Gonzalez-trujana -- [contents shortened for example] </tableOfContents>



MARC Mapping (Bibliographic)

<tableOfContents> ≈ MARC 21 field 505.

See also MARC Mapping to MODS for the <tableOfContents> element.

Dublin Core Mapping

The MODS to Dublin Core Metadata Element Set Mapping recommends mapping <tableOfContents> to the <dc:description> element.

MODS examples expressed in Dublin Core:

<dc:description>Honey Boy - Hiawatha Song - Her Boy in Blue</dc:description>


Last Updated: August 2, 2018