What's related > Best practice for web pages: summary

NEW 2009 To all web editors:
See important new website about the migration of LSE websites into the Content Management System: CMS: migration

Archive of FrontPage 'Metadata' information:


Metadata is a description of data or information, ie a 'label' to facilitate use and management. The cataloguing information on the first few pages of a book is metadata to assist librarians and booksellers. 

On the web, metadata is used to provide information about resources that does not necessarily need to be displayed on the screen. Such information is often used by search engines to help match a user's query with relevant documents. 

Information commonly stored as metadata include authorship, publication date, modification date, copyright information, and subject keywords.


The following META tags are mandatory for LSE web pages:

These are used by the 'Comment on this page' and 'Copyright' links included in the footer of all LSE pages.

The following META tags are optional:

The following META tags are mandatory for events pages:

At LSE, there is a list (schema) for NAME but not lists (schemes) for CONTENT. This ensures a balance between ensuring that metadata has value, and being too restrictive on the use of that metadata.


The metadata for the LSE website homepage looks like this:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en-gb">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 4.0">
<meta name="ProgId" content="FrontPage.Editor.Document">
<meta name="dc.creator" content="LSE Web Editor">
<meta name="" content="">
<meta name="lse.pagesource" content="LSE Website">
<title>Welcome to LSE</title>

Metadata is a complex subject, so if you would like any further information, please contact us at


In HTML, metadata is stored within the HEAD of the document using the META tag:


There can be one or more META tags making up the metadata for a web page with each representing a different piece of information about the page. 

Although it is possible to put any text in name and content, doing so would have little value. To ensure consistency across pages, and thereby provide value, the name is selected from an agreed list (called a schema) and content is set accordingly. It is possible to be more prescriptive and have the content set to value from an agreed list (called a scheme). For example, one page could contain the META tag:

<META NAME="DC.Creator" CONTENT="Stephen Emmott">

...whereas another could contain the META tag:

<META NAME="DC.Creator" CONTENT="Ruth Hartnup">

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