The surname of a person


A physically or logically single name, for example, “Cher” or “Pele”, or “Ice Cube” can be tagged as a <surname> to let the single name act as a surname for identification purposes. Where it is allowed by this Tag Set, for example, within a bibliographic reference (the <element-citation> and <mixed-citation> elements), a single name could also be tagged as a <string-name>.

Care should be taken with multipart names to divide the components into family names (<surname>) and personal names (<given-names>) in a culturally appropriate fashion. For example:

  <surname>Llanos De La Torre Quiralte</surname>

  <surname>Gonzalez Martin</surname>

  <given-names>Kenneth Pritchard Carnu</given-names>

  <surname>Ben Gurion</surname>

  <surname>de la Mare</surname>
  <given-names>Walter John</given-names>

  <surname>Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa, de</surname>
  <given-names>Henri Marie Raymond</given-names>

Technical Note: The <name> element is one of the few elements in this Tag Set to require a specific element sequence. The idea was that names would be converted to this sequence during import conversion, allowing a publisher or archive to regularize the names in their repository, since names are frequently critical search items. However, that leaves the case of names where the component parts are not in the required order. If the name parts are unknown or untagged in the input to be converted, or if the name would require complex conversion processing, for example, “His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester”, there are several options. The whole name can be put within the element <string-name> where that element is allowed (for example, within a bibliographic reference):

<string-name>His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester </string-name>

Since the <string-name> element permits the tagging of name parts within it, “Charles” could be tagged as a <given-names> element and the <prefix> element and <suffix> element used to tag the remainder, but such tagging is likely to be rare.

If the complexity is less or the element <string-name> is not allowed in the context, the entire name can be placed into the <surname> element. For example:

<surname>Prince Charles</surname>

Content Model

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

Expanded Content Model



Text, numbers, or special characters, zero or more

This element may be contained in:

<name>, <speaker>, <string-name>


<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>Department of Health Care
for the Elderly, St Luke&#x2019;s Hospital, Bradford BD5