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Metadata & URLs: Create & assign subject categories

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Subject categories allow you to organize your guides, databases, blog posts, and e-reserves courses. This can make it much easier for your patrons to find content in LibGuides related to a particular subject area. You can even assign specific users as experts in a particular subject, letting patrons know who they can contact if they need research help.

  • View guides by subject on the homepage. When you assign your guides to subject categories, your patrons gain the ability to browse guides by subject on your LibGuides homepage. When patrons click on a subject, the list will expand to show all of the related guides and a link to the subject's homepage with more related content.
  • Subject homepages. Each subject you create has its own homepage, which includes all of the assigned guides, databases, blog posts, and e-reserves courses. It will also list all of the librarians assigned as experts to that subject, making it a one-stop shop for all resources on a particular subject.
  • Filter the A-Z Database List by subject. When you assign your databases to subject categories, your patrons can filter your A-Z Database List by subject to easily find related databases for their topic. You can even designate some databases as best bets, which highlight the top resources for a particular subject.
  • View blog posts by subject. When you assign your blog posts to subjects, your patrons can filter your blog by category to read related posts.
  • View e-reserves courses by subject. If you subscribe to the e-reserves module, you can also assign your courses to subject categories. This adds one more way that your patrons can locate the e-reserves content for their courses.
  • Subjects and widgets. When creating Guides and A-Z List widgets, you can filter them by one or more subjects to create a customized list of guides or databases. There is even a Subjects widget that allows you to create a list of links to your subject homepages.
  • Subjects and the LibApps LTI tool. Subjects also play a role in the LibApps Automagic LTI tool. If the metadata for your course matches the metadata for one of your subjects, the Library LTI page can display a link to related databases as well as the experts for that subject.

To manage your subject categories, go to Admin > Metadata & URLs > Subjects. Only admin-level users can create and manage subject categories. Guide owners can then assign these subjects to their guides.

Getting to the Subjects page

On the Subjects page, you can browse, filter, sort, and even export your list of subject categories. For each subject, you'll see the following usage counts:

  1. Guide Count: the number of guides assigned to the subject
  2. Expert Count: the number of user accounts assigned to the subject
  3. Content Count: the number of A-Z databases and assets assigned to the subject
  4. Course Count: the number of E-Reserves courses assigned to the subject (if you subscribe to the E-Reserves module)

The Subjects page showing the counts for each subject category

To learn more about how to add and manage categories, see the sections below.


Create a new subject category

  1. Click on the  Add Subject button.

Screenshot highlighting the Add Subject button

  1. Under the General tab, enter the name of your subject in the Subject Name field.
  2. If you'd like, you can assign a friendly URL to your subject's homepage in the Friendly URL field. This can make it easier to link to your subject homepage.

Example of creating a new subject category

  1. If you'd like to assign guides to your subject now, click on the Guides tab.
    1. From the dropdown menu, select each guide you want to assign to the subject.

Example of assigning a guide to a subject

  1. If you'd like to assign experts to your subject now, click on the Experts tab.
    1. From the dropdown menu, select each expert you want to assign to the subject.

Example of assigning experts to a category

  1. If you have the e-reserves module and want to assign courses to your subject now, click on the Courses tab.
    1. From the dropdown menu, select each course you want to assign to the subject.
  2. Save your changes. (You cannot assign metadata until after a subject has been created.)

Example of adding e-reserves courses to a subject


Delete a subject category

To delete a subject category, click on its Delete () icon in the Actions column. This will delete the subject, but not any of the guides, databases, courses, users, or metadata assigned to it.

Example of deleting a subject category


Add or remove guides from a subject

When you assign your guides to subject categories, your patrons gain the ability to browse guides by subject on your LibGuides homepage. When patrons click on a subject, the list will expand to show all of the related guides and a link to the subject's homepage with more related content.

Example of viewing guides by subject on the homepage

To view, add, and remove guides from a subject category:

  1. Go to Admin > Metadata & URLs.

Selecting Metadata & URLs from the Admin menu

  1. Under the Subjects tab, the Guide Count column will indicate how many guides are currently assigned to each subject.
  2. To manage a subject's guide assignments, click on its Edit () icon in the Actions column.

The Subjects tab

  1. In the Add/Edit Subject window, click on the Guides tab.
  2. Click on the dropdown menu and use the checkboxes to add or remove assigned guides.
  3. Click on the Save button.

Selecting subjects under the Guides tab of the Add/Edit Subject window


Add or remove subject experts from a subject

When you assign users as experts for a subject, they will be listed on that subject's homepage. Each subject you create has its own homepage, which includes all of the assigned guides, databases, blog posts, and e-reserves courses. It will also list all of the librarians assigned as experts to that subject. Experts will also be listed in other areas, as well, such as the "By Subjects" listing on the homepage, as well as when filtering your A-Z Database List by subject.

In addition, that subject category will be included in the user's profile box, indicating that they are an expert for that category. When a user clicks on that subject in the profile box, they'll be taken to that subject's homepage where they can find additional resources.

Example of a subject homepage

LibGuides Admin users have the ability view, add, and remove experts from a subject category:

  1. Log into LibGuides and go to Admin > Metadata & URLs.

Selecting Metadata & URLs from the Admin menu

  1. Under the Subjects tab, the Expert Count column will indicate how many users are currently assigned to each subject.
  2. To manage a subject's experts, click on its Edit () icon in the Actions column.

The Subjects tab

  1. In the Add/Edit Subject window, click on the Experts tab.
  2. Click on the dropdown menu and use the checkboxes to add or remove assigned users.
    • Note: a user must have a LibGuides user account in order to be assigned as an expert.
  3. Click on the Save button.

Selecting users under the Experts tab of the Add/Edit Subject window


Add or remove E-Reserves courses from a subject

If you subscribe to the e-reserves module, you can also assign your courses to subject categories. This adds one more way that your patrons can locate the e-reserves content for their courses.

Example of filtering e-reserves by subject

To view, add, and remove courses from a subject category:

  1. Go to Admin > Metadata & URLs.

Selecting Metadata & URLs from the Admin menu

  1. Under the Subjects tab, the Course Count column will indicate how many e-reserves courses are currently assigned to each subject.
  2. To manage a subject's course assignments, click on its Edit () icon in the Actions column.

The Subjects tab

  1. In the Add/Edit Subject window, click on the Courses tab.
  2. Click on the dropdown menu and use the checkboxes to add or remove assigned courses.
  3. Click on the Save button.

Selecting courses under the Courses tab of the Add/Edit Subject window


Add or remove metadata from a subject

Subject categories are utilized by the LibApps Automagic LTI tool. When the metadata for a course in your Learning Management System (LMS) matches the metadata for one of your LibGuides subject categories, the Library LTI page can display a link to related databases as well as the experts for that subject.

Example of a Library LTI Page by subject

To view, add, and remove guides from a subject category:

  1. Go to Admin > Metadata & URLs.

Selecting Metadata & URLs from the Admin menu

  1. Under the Subjects tab, click on the subject's Edit () icon in the Actions column.

The Subjects tab

  1. In the Add/Edit Subject window, click on the Metadata tab.
    1. To edit an existing metadata item's Name or Value, click on it to reveal a text field and enter your changes.
    2. Enable a metadata item's Public checkbox to make it available to search engines or other data harvesting services. (You do not need to make a metadata item public in order to use it with the LibApps LTI Tool.)
    3. To delete a metadata item, click on its Delete button in the Actions column.
    4. To add a new metadata item, click on the "Empty" value in the Add Record row's Name column. Once you add a name, you will then be able to add a value to it.
  2. Click on the Save button.

Options for managing metadata