ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2015

6 Definitions


American National Standards Institute. ANSI is a private nonprofit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards in the U.S.


ASCII is a character-encoding scheme based on the English alphabet. It defines the encoding for 128 characters including A-Z, a-z, 0-9, some symbols, and some control characters.

It is sometimes used to refer to “plain text”, i.e., text without special characters or equations.

attribute (an XML term)

An attribute is a name-value pair associated with an XML element that modifies certain features of the element.

Attributes hold facts about an element, such as which type of list (e.g., numbered, bulleted, or plain) is being requested when using the List <list> element. Each attribute has both a name (e.g., @list-type) and a value (e.g., bullet).

container element

An XML term of art that indicates that one element has other elements inside it, in a parent/child or ancestor/descendent relationship.


CrossRef is an independent membership association appointed as an official DOI® Registration Agency for scholarly and professional publications.

document type (an XML term)

A class of documents that can be described with a single XML model, for example, journal articles.


Digital Object Identifier. A DOI® is a character string used to identify an electronic document or other object persistently (over changes in time and ownership).

DTD (an XML term)

Document Type Definition. A DTD is a set of markup declarations that define a type of document in XML.

element (an XML term)

Elements are nouns, like “speech” and “speaker”, that represent components of journal articles, the articles themselves, and accompanying metadata.

element content (an XML term)

The content of an element that contains only other elements. For example, the element for article metadata (<article-meta>) allows no text; it is a container element for the many metadata elements that describe an article.


Icon or small graphic used to depict emotion (for example, a “smiley face” to indicate happiness or laughter).


File Transfer Protocol. An Internet Engineering Task Force standard (RFC 959) that defines a protocol for transferring files between two hosts over a network.


A graphical element used to represent a character.


NISO Journal Article Tag Suite.


A document preparation system for the TeX typesetting program.


A specification of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for describing mathematical notation and capturing both its structure and content.


Metadata are data about the data, such as bibliographic information. Metadata elements that describe an article (such as the name of the journal in which an article was published) are distinct from elements that contain the textual and graphical content of the article.


A milestone is a marker for the beginning or end of a non-hierarchically nested object, that is, a textual component that cannot be expressed in the normal, non-overlapping, tree structure of an XML document.

mixed content (an XML term)

The content of an element that may contain embedded elements as well as text (letters, numbers, and special characters). For example, a mixed content element may contain the highlighting elements such as bold and italic interspersed in the text.


Publisher Item Identifier. A form of identifier based on the ISSN or ISBN.


In digital imaging, a pixel is a single point in a bitmap.

RELAX NG schema

A schema language for XML.


A rule-based validation language used for making and testing assertions about an XML instance.


Serial Item and Contribution Identifier. An ANSI/NISO Z39.56 code to uniquely identify volumes, articles, or other parts of a periodical. A journal article may have more than one SICI, e.g., one for a print version and another for an electronic version.


Scientific, Technical, and Medical. STM can be used to modify “publisher”, “journal”, “article”, etc.

tag set

A model for a particular document type, built from the XML elements and attributes defined in the Tag Suite. Many tag sets can be made from the elements and attributes of the full Tag Suite.

Tag Suite

All of the XML elements and attributes defined as part of this NISO standard. From this Suite of components, individual tag sets for a particular document type may be constructed.


A typesetting system popular for setting mathematics and physical sciences content.


Used to represent both the Unicode® Standard, which specifies the representation of text in modern software products and standards, and The Unicode Consortium, which is the organization responsible for developing and maintaining the Unicode® Standard.

Unicode Private Use Area

Blocks of characters that are officially not defined by the Unicode Standard but are reserved for an organization’s private use. Users must understand that characters within the private use area must be defined within a system and that they have no meaning outside of that system.


Uniform Resource Identifier. An identifier (such as a URL) that may be used as a live link, typically naming a website, such as: <uri></uri>.

wrapper element

An element that contains a series of elements that make up a whole unit; it acts as a single wrapper around all the elements that are part of a single logical component.

XML (Extensible Markup Language)

A specification of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for creating custom markup languages that enable information systems to share structured information.

XML term

A term defined in the XML specification or commonly used by the XML community in the context of XML applications.

XSD schema

XML Schema Definition. A recommendation of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that defines a language for creating XML Schemas. (