21 Book Information and Metadata

Before publishing your open text, you will need to fill out the Book Information section in the Pressbooks dashboard.


Adding rich metadata to your publication in Pressbooks will make it discoverable in search engines and indexes, and capture all relevant publication details.

Metadata is added to your Pressbook by the book administrator, and there are compulsory and optional fields to complete. Much of this metadata will appear on the homepage page of your Pressbook online. See the Pressbooks User Guide for full details.

There are some issues to be aware of in creating your metadata, outlined below.

URL (web address)

Are you happy with the URL (web address) of your book? If you’d like to change the URL, please contact the OEP team.

Book Information

Pay particular attention to the wording of your title, subtitle and book description as this will maximise the discoverability of your work by search engines and in indexed collections. Your description should be like an article abstract. Keep it brief and succinct (about 250 words) and consider how to describe your work as an elevator pitch.

You can also add keywords. Choose words that represent the principal themes represented in your work and think of what an individual might put into a search engine.

The Subject Categories options are used in the Pressbook Directory and are important for users who are browsing for relevant publications to adopt or adapt for their own student cohorts.


Traditionally published books are assigned a unique identifier that distinguishes them from all other publications, including subsequent revisions or editions. These unique identifiers can assist in the shareability and discoverability of your work and allow tracking of altmetrics more readily. The OEP team will arrange an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) for your open text.


Book contributors can include authors, editors, translators, reviewers, illustrators, and others.

In Pressbooks, you can assign book-level contributors itoone or more of several roles. These details will appear on the landing of your book. You can also assign chapter-level contributors and add the metadata at this level.

Pressbooks’ contributor feature also allows you to create and display author bios in chapters or at the end of the book. Use this feature to include authors’ names, credentials, and other important information that might signal expertise. Include any relevant links—for instance, to your institution or a list of your published works. It is highly recommended that you mention institutional affiliation If you have multiple authors, we recommend using this feature in every chapter to highlight the authority of the authors throughout.

Search Engine Optimisation Tips

Search engine optimisation is essentially a digital marketing tool. With some well-chosen words in your headings, alt text, book description and metadata, your book will be more discoverable by Google and other search engines. Give some consideration to what words a student (or another potential reader will use in their search.

Elements in the book that contribute to the discoverability of your book, particularly by Google, include:

  • well-structured heading hierarchies
  • concise and descriptive alt text
  • citations and links to other sources
  • descriptive summary on each page (for example, learning objectives or key takeaways)
  • concise and descriptive book description/blurb
  • complete metadata, especially the subject field
  • interlinking to other web pages.

Be aware that a user may not land at the start of your book, instead landing at a chapter that has words relevant to their search.

Chapter Attribution

This chapter has been adapted in parts from:



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Open Publishing Guide for Authors Copyright © 2023 by University of Southern Queensland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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