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 container 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.


For a detailed discussion on the use of <date>, see Dates in Citations.

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 Tag Set 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 Tag Sets created from the base Suite may choose to use one or the other in preference.


date-type Type of Date

Related Elements

Within citations (<element-citation> and <mixed-citation>), this element is used to name the date of publication. The elements <year>, <date>, <day>, <month>, and <season> may all be used to describe the date a cited resource was published. Other dates inside a citation, such as a copyright date, the date on which the author accessed the resource, or a withdrawal date, should be tagged using <date-in-citation> with the @content-type attribute used to name the type of date (copyright, access-date, time-stamp, etc.).

Content Model

<!ELEMENT  date         %date-model;                                 >

Expanded Content Model

(((day?, month?) | season)?, year?, string-date?)


The following, in order:

This element may be contained in:

<element-citation>, <history>, <mixed-citation>, <product>, <related-article>, <related-object>


<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>