Role or Function Title of Contributor


The title or role of a contributor (such as an author) to a work, for example, “Editor-in-Chief”, “Contributor”, “Chief Scientist”, “Photographer”, “Research Associate”, etc.


Information on the role or type of contribution is collected in two places, in the contrib-type attribute on the <contrib> element and in the <role> element (which is part of the contributor information inside a <contrib> element). For example, the <contrib> element’s contrib-type attribute might have a value of “editor”, whereas the content of the <role> element could be “Associate Editor”. As another example, the <contrib> element’s contrib-type attribute might be “author”, and the <role> element might contain “Principal Author”.

The <role> element is more likely to appear on screen or in print than the <contrib> element’s contrib-type attribute value.

This element joins the related element <on-behalf-of> in describing the contribution of a contributor. The <role> element will say that a person is an “Editor” or “Associate Editor”, and the <on-behalf-of> element will state that this editing was undertaken as a representative of a group or organization:

 <on-behalf-of>for the Multiple Sclerosis Collaborative Research Group</on-behalf-of>

While not considered best practice, it is also acceptable to tag the example as:

<role>for the Multiple Sclerosis Collaborative Research Group</role>

Related Elements

See discussion about <on-behalf-of> in Remarks.

Model Information

Content Model

<!ELEMENT  role         (#PCDATA %role-elements;)*                   >


Text, numbers, or special characters, zero or more

This element may be contained in:

<citation> Citation; <contrib> Contributor; <product> Product Information; <related-article> Related Article Information

Tagged Examples

Example 1

Inside article metadata:

<article-title>Systematic review of day hospital 
care for elderly people</article-title>
<contrib contrib-type="author">
<given-names>Anne Williams</given-names>
<role>research physiotherapist</role>
<aff id="StLukes">Department of Health Care
for the Elderly, St Luke&#x2019;s Hospital, Bradford BD5 
<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>


Example 2

In a bibliographic reference:

<given-names>D. H.</given-names></name>
<given-names>T. A.</given-names></name>
<role>managing directors.</role>
<year>2001</year> Wildlife habitat relationships in Oregon 
and Washington. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, 
Oregon, USA</citation>