Media Object

Description of and pointer to an external file that holds a media object (for example, an animation, a movie).


The “content” of the <media> element is not the media object itself, but information concerning the object. The external file that contains the object is named by the @xlink:href attribute.
Position: Although, in theory, the @position attribute of this element may be used to indicate whether this element must be anchored at its exact location within the text or whether it may float, it is usually good practice to anchor media objects. For media objects inside figures, tables, etc., the object should be anchored, although the outer structure (figure, boxed text) may be allowed to float.
Usage: Display component elements, such as <alt-text>, should always be used at the highest possible level; in other words, if a <media> element is inside a <fig>, the <alt-text>, <long-desc>, <attrib>, etc., should be part of the <fig>, not part of the <media>. Use a <alt-text> (or similar display component elements) on a <media> only when the media object is not enclosed in any other structure or when a figure contains multiple media objects, each of which must have its own <alt-text>. For similar reasons, the @position attribute should be set to “anchor” for a <media> element that is inside a larger display container such as a <fig>.

Related Elements

This Suite contains several elements that describe and point to non-XML material: <graphic>, <inline-graphic>, <media>, <supplementary-material>, and <inline-supplementary-material>. The elements <graphic> and <inline-graphic> contain a pointer to a still image (such as a photograph, diagram, line drawing, etc.) that is part of the document. The element <media> contains a pointer to a non-XML, frequently binary, object (such as a movie, audio clip, dataset, or other non-XML format) that is integral to the document’s content, where  “integral” means that the media object is discussed within (and possibly displayed within) the document; the media object is part of the document.
In contrast, the elements <supplementary-material> and <inline-supplementary-material> are used to describe either XML material (such as figures, tables, and sections) or non-XML material (such as graphics, films, audio clips, datasets, or other material) that are considered to be “additional material” (non-integral) accompanying a document. Like <graphic>, <inline-graphic>, and <media>, the supplementary material elements never contain the object they describe, even if it is an XML object such as a figure, although they may point to it.
The element <inline-supplementary-material> is used to mark up references to additional material, where the reference appears within the regular flow of the text and does not have a preview image or separate caption. The <supplementary-material> element is used to describe a more complicated reference, where the description of the supplementary object resembles a figure in that it can be positioned as a floating or anchored object and may take a caption.
Best Practice: Tag media objects which should not have any generated label (such as “Figure 1”) as <media>s rather than <fig> elements. A common test to determine whether an object is a <fig> versus a <media> element is to ask, “If there were a “List of Figures” for this article, should this object appear in that list?”


Content Model

<!ELEMENT  media        %media-model;                                >

Expanded Content Model

((object-id)?, (alt-text | long-desc)*, (attrib?, permissions?)*)


The following, in order:

This element may be contained in:


<media id="v1" mime-subtype="avi" mimetype="video" orientation="portrait" 
position="anchor" specific-use="original-format" xlink:href="v1">
<object-id pub-id-type="doi" specific-use="metadata">10.1063/1.4807071.1</object-id>