DSpace provides a broad list of metadata fields out of the box (see: Metadata and Bitstream Format Registries), and a variety of options for adding content to DSpace (both from the UI and from other services). No matter which Ingest option you use, DSpace recommends ensuring that the following metadata fields are specified:
Publication Date (
When submitting an Item via the DSpace web user interface, this field is required (by default).
If you add and Item to DSpace through another means (SWORD, etc), it is recommended to specify the date in which an Item was published, in ISO-8601 (e.g. 2007, 2008-01, or 2011-03-04). This ensures DSpace can accurately report the publication date to services like Google Scholar. If an item is unpublished, you can either chose to leave this blank, or pass in the literal string "today" (which will tell DSpace to automatically set it to the date of ingest)
As of DSpace 4.0, the system will not assign a "dc.date.issued" when unspecified. Previous versions of DSpace (3.0 or below) would set "dc.date.issued" to the date of accession (dc.date.accessioned), if it was unspecified during ingest.
If you are adding content to DSpace without using the DSpace web user interface, there are two recommended options for assigning "dc.date.issued"
Obviously, we recommend specifying as much metadata as you can about a new Item. For a full list of supported metadata fields, please see: Metadata and Bitstream Format Registries
You may encounter situations in which you will require an appropriate place to store information that does not immediately fit with the description of a field in the default registry. The recommended practice in this situation is to create new fields in a separate schema. You can choose your own name and prefix for this schema such as local. or myuni.
It is generally discouraged to use any of the fields from the default schema as a place to store information that doesn't correspond with the fields description. This is especially true if you are ever considering the option to open up your repository metadata for external harvesting.