Subjects in Metadata

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I'm involved two projects involving metadata - ONIX and EPUB. I'm hoping I've not gotten the two mixed up together.

My question has to do with EPUB and using subjects in the metadata. Is it okay to list them all together separated by semi-colons (like in ONIX) or do they need to each have their own tag?

Additionally, our titles have BISAC codes. Is there an accepted way of putting these in the subjects? Is it even worth it?

Any insight into the best way to handle subjects and keywords would be greatly appreciated.

EPUB doesn't define a parsing mechanism for metadata properties, so I'd err on the side of separating metadata out into unique instances:
<dc:subject>HIS006010</dc:subject>
Is a reading system likely to act on this metadata.. probably not. Reading systems typically only use metadata for display purposes, so it might show the codes, but that's about all. It would be interesting if you could arrange your bookshelf by subject area, but subjects aren't required and aren't prevalent enough that anyone seems to put any effort into making use of them.
 
I don't know if anyone has proposed a standard method for including subjects, but another option would be to include both the code and the expanded heading (or just the human-readable version), since readers are unlikely to make sense of the BISAC codes on their own if the reading system does provide access to them:
 
<dc:subject>HIS006010</dc:subject>
<dc:subject>HISTORY/Canada/Pre-Confederation (to 1867)</dc:subject>
Whether or not to keep all metadata in the EPUB package document is one that comes up from time to time. My opinion is why throw out what you have, even if it's underused? Reading systems change over time, but once a reader has your ebook they're not likley to get an update with new metadata if someone starts making use of it.

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