EPUB Linked Metadata Guide

30 January 2016

Document history


Although EPUB 3 defines only a small set of core bibliographic metadata in the Package Document to assist Reading Systems in the ingestion and presentation of publications, there are many other needs for richer metadata: ingestion of publications into library systems, moving content through production workflows, rendering in content-specialized Reading Systems, among others.

To provide the greatest amount of flexibility, the EPUB 3 specification allows linking to any kind of metadata record. Linked records can be hosted both inside and outside the EPUB Container, and an Author can include links to as many record formats as they need to support.

This informative guide highlights some of the more common metadata record formats linked to from the EPUB Package Document, including how to reference them from a link element. Examples of typical records are also provided for reference.

This guide is not intended to be a tutorial on how to create metadata records. For more information about the listed formats, refer to the documentation provided by the respective maintenance organization.

Metadata Record Formats

Note: Any type of record format can be linked to from the EPUB Package Document, whether listed in the following table or not.

Format Description Serialization Package Document Link Record Examples
MARCXML XML serialization of MARC records used primarily in library applications. XML
<link rel="record"
View MARCXML record
MODS Record format for bibliographic metadata used primarily in library applications. XML
<link rel="record"
See the MODS Guidance page
ONIX International standard for representing and communicating book industry product information in electronic form. XML
<link rel="record"
View ONIX record
Schema.org Schemas for structured data on the web. XHTML / RDFa Lite 1.1
<link rel="record"
See the following schema.org classes:
Schema.org JSON-LD
<link rel="record"