One of the historical dates that may be preserved for an article, such as when it was received or when it was accepted. This element typically acts (as does the related element <pub-date>) as a wrapper element for date elements, such as <day>, <month>, and <year>, which are usually given numeric values, as well as for <string-date> and <season>, which are just text strings.


Conversion Note: It is best practice to tag individual date elements (such as <year>) whenever possible. Use <string-date> for the narrative form of a date when necessary, for example, when a date has no month or year specified. However, even inside a <string-date> the named date components, such as <year>, can even be specified.

The Archiving DTD allows <string-date> both inside <date> and at the same level as <date>. This is the most flexible for allowing the archive to preserve any publisher’s structure. The tighter DTDs created from the base Suite may choose to use one or the other in preference.


date-type Type of Date

Related Elements

The tag set includes several date elements. For the date of publication of the article (metadata) use the element Publication Date <pub-date>. For the copyright date of an article (metadata) use the copyright year element <copyright-year>. The <date> element is be used for historical dates concerning the article such as the date received or the date accepted (also metadata). For the publication date of a cited work in a bibliographic reference <citation>, use the individual elements <month>, <day>, and <year>. If no month or month/day construction is given within a <citation>, and the only date is a season or a textual form of the date, such as “Third Quarter”, use the <season> element inside the <citation> element. A purely textual date or partial date can be recorded as a <string-date>.

Model Information

Content Model

<!ELEMENT  date         %date-model;                                 >


The following, in order:

This element may be contained in:

<history> History: Document History

Tagged Example

<article-id pub-id-type="pmid">...</article-id>
<aff id="StLukes">...</aff>
<pub-date pub-type="pub">
<date date-type="accepted">
<copyright-statement>Copyright &#x00A9; 1999, British
Medical Journal</copyright-statement>
<copyright-holder>British Medical Journal</copyright-holder>
<p>To examine the effectiveness of day hospital 
attendance in prolonging independent living for 
elderly people.</p>