LTER Information Manager's Manual

A getting started guide

This project is maintained by lter

Creating EML

The Ecological Metadata Language (EML) is an XML schema for describing ecological datasets. EDI maintains best practices for EML that you should review when writing your own EML.

There are many one-off solutions for creating EML at LTER sites. Some common ones are listed below, as well as some newer offerings from EDI.


ezEML is an online form based EML editor. ezEML has developed into a very simple approach for generating metadata files at three levels:

Extensive documentation may be found in the user guide or on YouTube.

LTER Core Metabase

Some LTER sites manage dataset metadata using a Postgres database schema called Metabase. It is maintained by LTER IMs, as is the companion R code called MetaEgress for generating EML from Metabase. The original Metabase was developed at GCE, but the current version (called LTER Core Metabase) is in use at BLE and JRN.


EMLassemblyline is an R package for creating EML. It is maintained by EDI and is used by several LTER sites such as HBR, JRN, NES, and NTL.


DEIMS used to be a Drupal-based solution for LTER websites. Drupal is a flexible content management system / programming environment that supports metadata based LTER websites well due to its database backend. It can also be used to generate EML. Recent efforts of upgrading from the original DEIMS to Drupal 8/9 are well documented in this git repository and modules for extracting and ingesting metadata have been developed.