instantiationAlternativeModes is a catch-all metadata element that identifies equivalent alternatives to the primary visual, sound or textual information that exists in an instantiation. These are modes that offer alternative ways to see, hear, and read the content of an instantiation. Examples include DVI (Descriptive Video Information), SAP (Supplementary Audio Program), ClosedCaptions, OpenCaptions, Subtitles, Language Dubs, and Transcripts. For each instance of available alternativeModes, the mode and its associated language should be identified together, if applicable. Examples include ‘SAP in English,’ ‘SAP in Spanish,’ ‘Subtitle in French,’ ‘OpenCaption in Arabic.’

Best practice is to use a semi-colon as a delimiter when defining more than one alternative mode.

instantiationAlternativeModes can be contained by pbcoreInstantiation, pbcoreInstantiationDocument, or instantiationPart.

Usage: optional, not repeatable.


  • source – optional. The source attribute provides the name of the authority used to declare the value of the element. Different elements will use the source attribute slightly differently.  For example, identifier source (required) should be the name of the organization, institution, system or namespace that the identifier came from, such as “PBS NOLA Code” or an institutional database identifier.  For other elements, this might be the name of a controlled vocabulary, namespace or authority list, such as Library of Congress Subject Headings.  We recommend a consistent and human readable use.
  • ref – optional. The ref attribute is used to supply a source’s URI for the value of the element. Attribute ref can be used to point to a term in a controlled vocabulary, or a URI associated with a source.
  • version – optional. The version attribute identifies any version information about the authority or convention used to express data of this element.
  • annotation – optional. The annotation attribute includes narrative information intended to clarify the nature of data used in the element. This attribute can be used as a notes field to include any additional information about the element or associated attributes


instantiationAlternativeModes contains no subelements.


Submit any issues or suggested changes for future schema iterations by creating a ticket in our Github repository.