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The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a center of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), created the NCBI Book Tag Set with the intent of providing a common format for the creation of textbook content in XML.

NCBI will use the Document Type Definition (DTD) version of this Tag Set to define the content data for the NCBI Bookshelf.


The schema was constructed using the modules of the NLM Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite and has been modeled along the same philosophical lines as the Archiving Tag Set, which is a schema for interchange and storage of journal material.


The complete documentation for this Tag Set is available in the Tag Library http://dtd.nlm.nih.gov/book/tag-library/. The structure and suggested usage of the Tag Library is described in the How To Use (Read Me First) section.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Frequently Asked Questions page is available.

Getting the Files

The DTD files are available by anonymous FTP: ftp://ftp.ncbi.nih.gov/pub/archive_dtd/books/.

The DTD is directly available: ftp://ftp.ncbi.nih.gov/pub/archive_dtd/books/book-dtd-3.0.zip.

The DTD is also available through the web at the following stable URI. Please note that not all browsers will display these files properly, but the files are viewable in XML or text editors. http://dtd.nlm.nih.gov/book/3.0/book3.dtd


The current version of the Book DTD is v3.0.

Version 3.0 was released on November 21, 2008. A detailed explanation of the changes from version 2.3 is available in the v3.0 Change Report.

Version 2.3 is available here: http://dtd.nlm.nih.gov/book/2.3.

Version 2.2 is available here: http://dtd.nlm.nih.gov/book/2.2.

Version 2.1 is available here: http://dtd.nlm.nih.gov/book/2.1.

Version 2.0 is available here: http://dtd.nlm.nih.gov/book/2.0.


If you are creating content for the NCBI Bookshelf and have any questions or comments, please email them to books@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

If you are interested in making a new version of the DTD, please see the How to Build a New Custom DTD section.

Any suggestions for changes to the Tag Set or documentation should be made through the NLM Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Sets Comment Form at the Mulberry Technolgies site.

Related Tag Sets

The Historical Book Tag Set, created from the NCBI Book Tag Set, was written with the intent of providing a common format for the electronic reproduction of historical works. This Tag Set will not be updated past version 2.3.

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 Article Authoring Tag Set, also created from the Tag Suite, is optimized for authoring original journal articles. It is the most limited Tag Set derived from the Suite that is offered by NLM.

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.

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: November 21, 2008