AGLS Victoria: Metadata Implementation Manual

A guide to implementing and managing AGLS metadata in Victorian Government departments and agencies, Version 4, July 2011

Prepared for Department of Business and Innovation

Prepared by InfoRed Consulting

1 About this manual

The AGLS Victoria: Metadata Implementation Manual provides online content and web staff with guidance on how to ensure compliance with AS5044-2010, the Victorian Government Discoverability Standard and the requirements of the Victorian Information Management Framework (IMF).

The manual focuses on practical metadata implementation advice using Victorian Government examples of AGLS (Australia Government Locator Service) compliant metadata.

AGLS is an Australian metadata standard (AS5044-2010) used to describe online Government resources. The implementation of AGLS metadata is mandatory for Australian Government Agencies.

AGLS is also a mandatory requirement for Victorian Government Agencies and is a key component of the Whole of Victorian Government Discoverability Standard. The Standard states:

"Agencies will ensure information on their websites is discoverable"

and, more specifically:

"4. Implement descriptive and meaningful values for the mandatory and recommended properties of the AGLS Metadata Standard (AS 5044-2010) on all web pages."

1.1.1 Stewardship

The National Archives of Australia is the maintenance agency for the AGLS Metadata Standard.

Information Victoria is the maintenance agency for the Discoverability Standard.

1.1.2 Intended audience

This manual is intended to guide departmental and agency staff in the best practice implementation of AGLS metadata within a Victorian Government context.

The staff who will benefit the most from this manual are those who:

  • Create online content
  • Provide custodianship or management of online and offline resources and services
  • Coordinate web-based agency policy and practice
  • Develop, manage and maintain Victorian Government web sites.

1.2 Purpose

AGLS metadata is ‘discovery’ metadata. It is used to describe web pages, documents, services and offline resources.

Discovery metadata is used to improve the way people and technology find, group and index electronic resources. It can be used to electronically exchange descriptions of resources with other web sites and agencies. Importantly, metadata is one of the main mechanisms for indexing and presenting search results on many Government web sites (for example,

While the AGLS Metadata Standard has a focus on Government resources many private organisations implement the Standard as it is based on internationally recognised principles of best metadata practice.

In the past 10 years, most Victorian agencies have implemented some online metadata, however with the regular creation of new web sites, changes to AS 5044-2010 and the introduction of the PSI (Public Sector Information) Custodianship Model, current governance, implementation and management models require revision.

Adopting and managing AGLS metadata requires governance and planning. This manual will help you:

  • Understand the role of metadata in your web initiative
  • Understand Victorian metadata implementation requirements
  • Manage AGLS metadata within an agency
  • View examples of best practice metadata authoring
  • Select technologies that support AGLS authoring and rendering
  • Communicate your web activities to

Further information

The AGLS Manual is available in the following formats:


Digital Engagement
Department of Premier and Cabinet
Level 15, 35 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Australia

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