Metadata Guidelines for Stanford on iTunes U and YouTube

Metadata plays an integral role in the way iTunes U and YouTube displays, sorts, and indexes your content. It is critical to have good metadata for users searching for content in the iTunes Store and YouTube directory that may otherwise go unnoticed.

Keywording Strategy

List unique, descriptive words geared toward search queries, avoiding words that already appear in the other meta-data fields (title, speaker/artist, department/program, etc.).

For example, with a track on Regenerative Medicine:

Begin with general, topical terms such as “science, medicine, health,” then move onto more specific subject descriptions like “stem cell, cloning, gene therapy.” Finally, add other terms like “research, politics, law, legislation” to ensure that someone searching for “medical research” or “stem cell politics” will be able to find our track out of the thousands of others in the iTunes U and podcast sections.

When keywording, constantly reorder the keywords to conform to this structure: placing the most important, subject-oriented keywords first.


Limit your description to one or two sentences with 250 characters maximum. We suggest using the present tense to describe your track.


Title: The Politics and Promise of Stem Cell Research
Artist: Irv Weissman
Irving Weissman, MD, director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, discusses the state of adult and embryonic stem cell research. His work is with adult stem cells, primarily of the blood but also of the brain. He thinks these cells have enormous potential for treating disease such as cancer.

Science, Human Health, Biology, hematology, embryology, embryonic stem cell, human reproductive cloning, blood system, genetic, therapy, immune system, disease, treatment, regeneration, transplant, diabetes, in vitro-fertilization, disorder, transplant, diabetes, brain, cancer, RNA, cell line, ethics, politics, law, George W. Bush, Senate, House, USA, United States of America
Stanford University School of Medicine: