The NLM Article Authoring Tag Set is now being maintained as part of the NISO JATS project. Please see jats.nlm.nih.gov/articleauthoring/ for the most current information.


The Article Authoring Tag Set creates a standardized format for new journal articles that can be used by authors to submit publications to journals and to archives such as PubMed Central. While in theory the document scope is the same as for the Publishing Tag Set, in practice Authoring defines elements and attributes that describe the content of typical research-style journal articles.

This is a Tag Set optimized for authorship of new journal articles, where regularization and control of content is important, and where it is useful rather than harmful to have only one way to tag a structure. Therefore Authoring is more prescriptive than descriptive and includes many elements whose content must occur in a specified order.

Since an author is assumed to be creating and submitting an article for submission to a journal or journals, no publishing history or journal-specific information has been included in this Authoring Tag Set.

Since no assumptions can be made concerning the processing software or editorial situation that will receive an article authored in this Tag Set, tagging that forces specific formatting has also been avoided. There is no way for an author to number his/her lists explicitly, for example, or to manually number the cited references, since many journals have their own citation policies and publication styles. Numbers for the cited references must be generated by the publisher’s software to match editorial policy and established practice.


The complete documentation for each version of this Tag Set is available in the Tag Library. The structure and suggested usage of the Tag Library is described in the How to Use (Read Me First) section. Please see the individual version's page for access to the appropriate Tag Library.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Frequently Asked Questions page is available.

Getting the Files

All of the Tag Set files are available by anonymous FTP: //ftp.ncbi.nih.gov/pub/archive_dtd/article_authoring/.

Each schema is also available through the web at stable URIs which are listed on the individual version's page.


Please see the JATS Article Authoring Tag Set page for the current Tag Set version information.

The previous Tag Set versions are still available:

Version 2.1 was the first release of the Article Authoring DTD. Because it was based on Version 2.1 of the Archive and Interchange Tag Suite, its version number is also 2.1.


Please submit all questions or comments to the JATS-List, hosted by Mulberry Technologies.

Related Tag Sets

The Archiving Tag Set, created from the Tag Suite, is less prescriptive than the Publishing Tag Set. It enables archives to capture but structural and semantic components and does not enforce any particular sequence or textual format.

The Journal Publishing Tag Set, created from the Tag Suite, is more prescriptive than the Archiving Tag Set. It is optimized for use by publishers and archives interested in regularizing their data.

The NCBI Book Tag Set was designed to accommodate tagging for books as part of the NCBI Bookshelf project.

Individuals wanting to submit citations and abstracts for inclusion in PubMed/MEDLINE should use the PubMed Journal Article DTD. See the Information for Publishers re: XML Tagged Data on the PubMed web site.


All of the tools described in this section are available at https://dtd.nlm.nih.gov/tools/.

NLM has created an XSL transform that converts data in any version of the Archiving Tag Set into version 3.0 of the Tag Set. Information about customizing and using the transform is available in the transform’s documentation.

Tools for Previous Versions

The following tools work only with versions of the Tag Set prior to 3.0. NLM will release versions of these tools to work with 3.0 as they become available.

XML Information

Links to general information on XML, XSLT, Unicode™, and XLink are available on the XML Resources page.

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Last updated: September 17, 2012