Container element for the parts of a single calendar date.


Usage: A <date> element may contain date components such as <day>, <month>, and <year> (which are typically given numeric values), as well as non-numeric elements such as <season> (which is a text string).

When used within citations (<element-citation> and <mixed-citation>), this element names the publication date of the cited source. When used as part of <history>, this element holds one of the publication history dates that may be preserved for an article, such as when it was received or when it was accepted.

Related Essay: For a discussion on the use of <date>, see Dates in Citations.

Best Practice: It is best practice to tag individual date elements (such as <year>) whenever possible. Use <string-date> for the narrative form of a date when necessary, for example, when a date has no month or year specified. However, even inside a <string-date> the named date components, such as <year>, can even be specified.

The Archiving and Interchange Tag Set allows <string-date> both inside <date> and at the same level as <date>. This is the most flexible for allowing the archive to preserve any publisher’s structure. The tighter Tag Sets created from the base Suite may choose to use one or the other in preference.


calendar Calendar
date-type Type of Date
iso-8601-date ISO-8601 Formatted Date
publication-format Format of Publication
specific-use Specific Use

Related Elements

Within citations (<element-citation> and <mixed-citation>), this element is used to name the date of publication of the cited source. The elements <year>, <date>, <day>, <month>, and <season> may all be used to describe the date a cited resource was published. Other dates inside a citation, such as a copyright date, the date on which the author accessed the resource, or a withdrawal date, should be tagged using <date-in-citation> with the @content-type attribute used to name the type of date (copyright, access-date, time-stamp, etc.).

Content Model

<!ELEMENT  date         %date-model;                                 >

Expanded Content Model

(((day?, month?) | season)?, year?, string-date?)


The following, in order:

This element may be contained in:

<element-citation>, <history>, <mixed-citation>, <product>, <related-article>, <related-object>


<article-id pub-id-type="pmid">...</article-id>
<aff id="StLukes">...</aff>
<pub-date pub-type="pub" iso-8601-date="1999-03-27">
<date date-type="accepted" iso-8601-date="2001-01-29">
<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>