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Metadata Object Description Schema - The Full Wiki

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Metadata Object Description Schema - The Full Wiki


The Object Description Schema (MODS) is an XML-based bibliographic description schema developed by the United States Library of Congress' Network Development and Standards Office. MODS was designed as a compromise between the complexity of the MARC format used by libraries and the extreme simplicity of Dublin Core metadata.

MODS was first announced for trial use in June, 2002. In 2006 it is at version 3, which has itself received minor revisions.

The number of users of MODS is unknown. Implementers are encouraged to register their uses of MODS in the implementation registry on the official MODS website. To date there are about two dozen projects listed in the registry, although it is assumed that many others are making use of the standard. Users are primarily operating in the area of digital libraries, and some of the registered uses are in digital library projects at the Library of Congress.

Revisions to the schema are suggested and discussed on the MODS listserv, and implemented by the Library of Congress. There is no formal standards body nor board involved in the MODS schema at this time.

The MODS record has been designed to carry key data elements from the MARC record but does not define all of the MARC fields and does not use the field and subfield tagging from the MARC standard. There are data elements in MODS that are not compatible with the MARC record so there is some loss translating from MARC to MODS and from MODS to MARC. There is no commitment on the part of the Library of Congress to maintain compatibility between the two metadata formats beyond what is convenient to the community of MODS users.


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Thefullwiki staff, “Metadata Object Description Schema - The Full Wiki,” Continuing Education on New Data Standards & Technologies, accessed April 17, 2021,