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>


content-type Type of Content

Related Elements

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

Content Model

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

Expanded Content Model



Text, numbers, or special characters, zero or more

This element may be contained in:

<collab>, <contrib>, <element-citation>, <mixed-citation>, <product>, <related-article>, <related-object>

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

Example 2

In an element-style bibliographic reference (punctuation and spacing removed):

<person-group person-group-type="director">
<given-names>D. H.</given-names></name>
<given-names>T. A.</given-names></name>
<role>managing directors</role>
<source>Wildlife habitat relationships in Oregon
and Washington</source>
<publisher-loc>Corvallis, Oregon, USA</publisher-loc>
<publisher-name>Oregon State University Press</publisher-name>

Example 3

In a mixed-style bibliographic reference (punctuation and spacing preserved):

<person-group person-group-type="director">
<given-names>D. H.</given-names></string-name> 
<given-names>T. A.</given-names></string-name>
<role>managing directors</role>.
<source>Wildlife habitat relationships in Oregon
and Washington</source>.
<publisher-loc>Corvallis, Oregon, USA</publisher-loc>:
<publisher-name>Oregon State University Press</publisher-name>;