Controlled vocabulary fields are words or phrases that you determine that are acceptable values you can choose from to complete metadata fields. They provide a way for you to organize details about assets so they're searchable. You can refine searches by filtering by specified controlled fields, which are also known as property selection fields or a taxonomy.


In this example, "Logo Type" is a metadata field and the values of "Customer," "Vendor," and "Other" are the controlled fields.



Controlled fields are one of two metadata field formats available in the Widen Collective. The other format is free text fields. Controlled fields can include free text fields that offer preset values. More information about controlled vocabulary and free text fields is available in the this article.


We follow the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative when recommending best practices for metadata. Recommended controlled vocabulary elements are:

  • Coverage: A named place or geographic location
  • Format: A list of media types
  • Language: The language of the resource
  • Subject: The topic of the resource
  • Type: The nature or genre of the resource