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Viewing Metadata

Module by: Connexions. E-mail the author

Summary: This module describes the layout of the metadata pages.

Note: You are viewing an old version of this document. The latest version is available here.


Each piece of content has two major components available for viewing: the actual content itself, and the metadata page, containing information about the content, author, and more. When you first browse to a module or collection, you will be taken to the content page. To see the metadata, select the link at the bottom of the page.

To display the metadata for the module or collection, scroll down to the footer, where it says More about this module/collection.

Figure 1: Footer on the "Viewing content" page.
Footer on the 'Viewing content' page.
You can click on Metadata, Downloads, or Version History, highlighted in the figure in red. You can also click on How to reuse/cite and attribute this content. These links all take you to different parts of the metadata page.


The Downloads section of the metadata page gives you easy access to all the available downloadable formats for the content you are viewing.

Figure 4: Downloads section.
Downloads section of the content metadata page.

PDF Files

Each module and collection has a PDF document version that can be downloaded for viewing without an internet connection. The PDF version of a collection is formatted for printing with page numbers, headers, footers, and numbered headings and is identical to the hardcopy printed version of the collection. PDF files can be downloaded from the Download dropdown in the Content Actions bar at the top of content pages, at the bottom of content pages, and from a content's metadata page.

EPUB Files

EPUB is a standard electronic book (ebook) format that can be read on a computer and on most small devices (smartphones, iPad, e-book readers, etc.). EPUB files can be downloaded from the Download dropdown in the Content Actions bar at the top of content pages, at the bottom of content pages, and from a content's metadata page. For more information on using EPUB files, see our EPUB help page.


XML provides a machine-readable representation of a module or collection.

Collection XML, called CollXML, contains a collection's metadata (authors, maintainers, keywords, subject list, collection abstract, print parameters, featured links, etc.) and its structure (links to modules contained in the collection, featured links for each module, subcollections and the modules in the subcollection). The CollXML cannot be reimported into collection editor. More about CollXML.

Module XML, called CNXML, contains the metadata for a module and the content of the module. The CNXML can be imported into the module editor. More about CNXML.

XML files for a collection or module can be downloaded from their respective metadata pages.

Source Export ZIP

The module source export ZIP file contains the module XML (CNXML) file along with any media files that are part of the module. This ZIP can be imported into the module editor. It can be downloaded from a module's metadata page or be exported from the module editing interface.

The collection source export ZIP contains the collection XML (CollXML) as well as the module XML and module media files for each module it contains. It is intended for developers who want to create their own version of a collection by transforming the XML into a different look. It can be downloaded from a collection's metadata page or from the collection editing interface.

Offline ZIP

Collections and modules have a downloadable ZIP file that contains all of the information and contents of the collection or module. The ZIP includes:

  • start.html which displays the collection or module and a table of contents in your browser
  • HTML files of the content that can be viewed offline.
  • All of the images and other media (videos, audio files, documents, applets, etc.) included in the module. The collection Offline ZIP contains the media files of all the modules in that collection.
  • The content's XML file. The collection Offline ZIP also contains the XML files for each of the modules in the collection.
  • The Offline ZIP files each have a README file that guides users through the contents of the ZIP. Developers can view the exact contents of the README from the links below.

Offline ZIP files can be downloaded by choosing More downloads... from the Download dropdown at the top of content pages, at the bottom of content pages, and from a content's metadata page.

Version History

The Version History section of the metadata page contains an archive with links to all of the past versions of the content.

Figure 5: Version History section.
Version History section of the content metadata page.

When a new module is published Connexions assigns a revision number to that version of the module. If if becomes necessary to update the module, the author checks it out from the repository, edits it, and publishes it again. An incremented revision number is assigned to the updated version. Connexions stores all this revision information and you can view it on the History page for the module.

Reuse and Attribution

The Reuse and Attribution section of the metadata page reminds you of the attribution requirements of the license the content is published under. It also gives a list of bibliographic citations in various popular styles, like the APA, MLA, or Chicago style.

Figure 6: Reuse and attribution section.
Reuse and attribution section of the content metadata page.

Content actions

Download module as:

Add module to:

My Favorites (?)

'My Favorites' is a special kind of lens which you can use to bookmark modules and collections. 'My Favorites' can only be seen by you, and collections saved in 'My Favorites' can remember the last module you were on. You need an account to use 'My Favorites'.

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Definition of a lens


A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

What is in a lens?

Lens makers point to materials (modules and collections), creating a guide that includes their own comments and descriptive tags about the content.

Who can create a lens?

Any individual member, a community, or a respected organization.

What are tags? tag icon

Tags are descriptors added by lens makers to help label content, attaching a vocabulary that is meaningful in the context of the lens.

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