Metadata & Configuration

Update crucial information before deploying your publication

Update crucial information before deploying your publication

Quire uses two files as sources of the metadata and to define how the publication works. In this page, we list the YAML properties and values that need to be defined in the two following files: config.yml and publication.yml. By default, both config.yml and publication.yml will be generated when you create a Quire project, however the values of the properties will be either edited or added to the properties listed as we describe below.

You can read more about YAML syntax basics in YAML & Markdown.

Adjust the Default Publication Settings in config.yml File

The config.yml file is a standard and required file for , and also for Quire. In Quire, it is used expressly for configuring how Hugo operates, and for defining a number of key values used in Quire . Users who have worked on other non-Quire Hugo projects will note that they typically use the config.yml file to also store publication metadata. Given the potentially large scope of this kind of metadata in formal digital publications, Quire instead uses the publication.yml file inside the data directory for that purpose (see below).

The properties in the config.yml file are individually documented in the For Developers section, however, a few key items to note:

  • While Quire exclusively uses the title value as defined in your publication.yml file, other projects require a title value in the config.yml file, so it is a good idea to include it here as well.

  • The theme value should match the name of the folder in the /themes directory that contains your theme files; if you’ve copied the default and given it a different name make sure to update the value here too.

  • The params section includes a number of values specific to various Quire layout and . All are provided with default values, and should be changed with care. In cases where a value should be deleted entirely, it is usually best to leave it as empty double quotes ("") rather than completely deleting it.

Add and Edit Important Metadata in publication.yml File

The publication.yml file in the /data directory is the source of metadata for your publication. While the only value that is truly required is the one for the property title, it is a good idea to fill out the publication.yml file as completely as possible. Many of the properties are used in the metadata, which is automatically included in the underlying code of every page of the online edition of your publication to support and general discovery.

Some key areas are summed up below, and match headings in the publication.yml file itself, but there is a detailed documentation of individual properties and their values in the For Developers section of this guide.

Title & Description

Of the possible properties in this section, title, and the optional subtitle and reading_line are the most important. If your title is particularly long, the short_title property can be used to provide an alternative for the navigation elements of the online book where long titles will otherwise be truncated.

It is also a good idea to include both one_line and full descriptions, as these are used in the publication SEO metadata and often on the Cover and About or Copyright pages.

Publication Details

The values of url, pub_date, and language should be filled out.

  • url should be the final URL where your publication will live (its permalink) and should include http:// or https:// as appropriate.

  • The value of pub_date must follow a YYYY-MM-DD format (the ) and should be the projected final publication date.

  • Lastly, language should be a 2-letter . The default value is en (English) and other languages can be used.

There’s an optional pub_type property whose values are book, journal-periodical, or other. If you use the value book, it is recommended you also include an as a standard identifier. If you use the value journal-periodical, you should include information for the , series_periodical_name, and series_issue_number attributes if possible.

Both and are considered if you want libraries to catalog your publication. Along with isbn and issn, doi and uuid are also supported so you can add these attributes as identifiers:

  isbn: 978-1-12345-678-9
  uuid: 4a1b423d-6d5a-469b-bd5f-b498182ad6ca

are widely used in academic contexts to support citation while serve to identify information in computer systems.

  • Note that the isbn and issn identifiers used here are for the online edition specifically. Identifiers for other specific editions (PDF/Print, EPUB, and MOBI) can be defined separately with the appropriate resource_link. See the Formats, Resources & Links section below for more.

Lastly, Quire supports publications with multiple publishers, but at least one publisher should be listed with a name, location, and url attributes. In particular, this is used in the citation features as well as in search engine metadata.


Every publication should have at least one contributor. The contributor item type can have one of three values: primary, secondary, or project-team. The primary contributors are those who would show up on the Cover, Menu, and Title Page of a publication, and may include authors, editors, translators, and others. Contributors should, at a minimum, be listed with a first_name and last_name (or alternately just a full_name).

An optional contributor_as_it_appears value allows for more fine-grained control in the way contributors are listed. It could be, for example, something like “Edited by Rose Valland and Denis Diderot”. Even when using contributor_as_it_appears, the contributors should still be individually listed as contributors (with a value of primary) for search engine legibility.

The editors, designers, developers, and others who worked on the title may be listed as contributors with the project-team value. This information is usually then listed on the About and Copyright pages of the publication.

Read more about this matter in the Contributors chapter of this guide.

You should include a copyright line property for your publication, and, optionally, license information property if you are distributing the publication .

A simple statement would typically be formatted as “© 2019 Author Name”.

  • The copyright property does support Markdown formatting to allow for multiple paragraphs and other formatting.

Open access licensing typically means applying one of seven to your publication. This is in addition to your copyright statement.

Note, an open Creative Commons license does not replace or supersede copyright in a work, it instead says that the copyright holder is licensing (allowing) others to make use of the work in an open way.

To use a Creative Commons license fill in the name, abbreviation, url, and scope values of the license property. scope value should be either full, text-only, or some-exceptions and will determine the way the license is worded on your site. To override the wording and link language use the online_text and pdf_ebook_text attributes.

If the abbreviation attribute matches one of the seven , an icon will automatically be included, otherwise you can use the icon attribute to point to a specific image file in your images directory.

A publication can have multiple resource_link properties, each with the type of other_format, related_resource, or footer_link.

  • other_format will be where you can list the PDF, EPUB, and MOBI editions of your publication that Quire produces.

  • related_resource are for additional items you want to point readers to.

  • footer_link are just that and are often links to privacy policies, your own About page, or social media profiles.

resource_link properties can also be internal pages of the publication or files from your publication, or can point to external resources or other websites. The attributes type, name (how the resource link will be listed in your publication), and url are required.

To facilitate machine readability, it is a good idea to also include link_relation and media_type attributes from the lists if applicable ones for your particular resource are available.


Any number of subjects can be added to the publication in order to aid search engine discoverability. They may be formatted as simple keywords, , or linked data using the , including AAT, ULAN, and TGN.

For each subject, indicate the type: keyword, bisac, or getty. For keyword, you only need to include a single comma-separated list under the name attribute.

  - type: keyword
    name: French painting, 19th Century, Delacroix

For all others, each subject should be listed individually and should also include an identifier attribute. For bisac subjects the identifier is the BISAC code, for the Getty vocabularies, it’s the vocabulary’s semantic URL.

  - type: bisac
    name: "ART / European"
    identifier: ART015030
  - type: getty
    name: "Romantic"
  - type: getty
    name: "Eugène Delacroix"

Revision History

A history of post-publication revisions made to the publication typically appears on the About page. Any number of revision history property items can be added and each must include the attributes date and a summary of changes made on that date. The summary attribute supports Markdown formatting, and would typically be in list form.

If you are using or a similar service for more granular version control, you may also include the repository_url in this section. And in this case the revision history collected in the publication.yml can act as an overview. For more, see our updates and revisions policy document.