Metadata Presentation Styles

Page Index

In order to view XML documents with XSL stylesheets applied, it is best to use a later browser such as IE 6.0 or Firefox.


Metadata is essential for resource discovery on the Internet. However, for machine interpretation, OLAC and IMDI metadata are stored in XML files; and raw XML files are not easy for a person to read. To present the metadata on the web or in a print format, the XML can easily be transformed using an XSL stylesheet. Stylesheets can re-format any XML file into a variety of presentations suitable for different applications. In a following section, this page presents a single XML file formatted with five different stylesheets to create five different HTML presentations: Web page, Annotated Bibliography, Catalog, Database Upload, and Search Results Page. Stylesheets can also be created to transform XML files into .pdf or .txt file formats.

How It Works

Throughout these stylesheet "transformations," the XML itself remains unchanged. The XML file simply calls a stylesheet which displays the XML in the desired way. Thus all five of the XML files shown below are the same, apart from the single line of code that calls a particular stylesheet:

   <?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="stylesheet1.xsl"?>

In this example, the stylesheet is called "stylesheet1.xsl".

View a sample stylesheet

More on XSL Stylesheets

Raw XML Metadata

An XML metadata file includes tags such as the following:

  <dc:title> . . . </dc:title>

These tags refer to metadata elements. The value of the element for a particular resource is given between the tags, as in the example below:

  <dc:title>How to Do Things with Words </dc:title>

View the XML file

More on XML

Presentation Formats

The XML above file has been transformed via XSL stylesheets into 5 presentation styles. Since these are all being presented over the web, the file format is a text file with HTML markup; however, other file formats can also be created.

Presentation Style Description View example / stylesheet
Web Page This web page stylesheet displays the data within a table with blue and gray columns, but these colors and other simple formatting rules could be changed quite easily by altering the stylesheet. example / stylesheet
Annotated Bibliography Bibliographical listing. example / stylesheet
Catalog Display of many sets of linguistic data for a catalog or other listing. example / stylesheet
Database Upload A format which would allow you to upload the metadata into a database. example / stylesheet
Search Results Page One of the most useful formats; displays the metadata and provides links to the source file and identifier. example / stylesheet

The content of this page was developed using resources listed in our Annotated Bibliography.

User Contributed Notes
Metadata Presentation Styles
+ Add a comment
  + View comments

Back to top Credits | Glossary | Help | Navigation | Site Map | Site Search