Frequently Asked Questions

Why the new name?

When the Tag Suite was originally released in 2003, it was named NLM Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite. The move to standardize the Suite means that the NLM is no longer the owner of the Suite. To reflect that shift and to make the delineation clear between the NLM DTDs and the NISO standard, the NISO working group made the decision to officially re-name the Suite. The Journal Article Tag Suite—JATS for short—marks the beginning of the NISO standard.

And the new version numbering scheme?

The version numbering was restarted for the same reason that the name was changed: to make the delineation clear between the NLM DTD project and the NISO Standard. Although the name and version numbers have shifted, NISO JATS 1.0 is a fully backward-compatible, revision to version 3.0 of the NLM Tag Suite and article models.

What's the relationship between the NISO standard and this website?

The website contains the non-normative documentation to accompany the NISO standard. The non-normative content includes the Tag Libraries, DTDs, RELAX NG schemas, and W3C XML Schema files for each of the Tag Sets. This site is hosted and maintained by the NLM. The NLM will also continue to host the website.

Are the Tag Sets still in the public domain?

The Standard (both PDF and HTML versions) is copyrighted by NISO, but all of the non-normative information found on this site is in the public domain. That includes all of the schemas and the Tag Libraries. The Tag Sets may be used freely and without permission from either the NLM or NISO.

What is the difference between the Tag Suite and a Tag Set? and a Tag Library?

The Tag Suite is the complete set of elements and attributes that has been defined to tag journal articles. A Tag Set is an article model built from the elements and attributes in the Tag Suite. Z39.96 contains all of the element and attribute definitions as well as three Tag Sets (or article models): Archiving and Interchange Tag Set, the Journal Publishing Tag Set, and the Article Authoring Tag Set. Each tag set is represented by schemas written in each of DTD, W3C XML Schema, and RELAX NG.

A Tag Library is the complete documentation for each Tag Set that includes tagged samples, usage notes, heirarchy diagrams, and lists of suggested attribute values. The Tag Library is applicable to the Tag Set without regard to the schema language that is being used.

Where should I send comments or suggestions about the NISO Standard?

Comments on the standard should be submitted at

Where should I send comments about the schemas or tag libraries on this site?

Comments on the non-normative supporting documents on this site may also be submitted through the NISO comment form:

Where can I ask questions on how to use the Tag Sets?

There is a public discussion list dedicated to the JATS. See the description at

How can I point to a specific page in one of the Tag Libraries?

For versions 1.1d2 and later:

Frames are no longer used and the different types of items (element, attribute, pe, chapter) are in separate subdirectories. The URL for an individual item is built with the base URL of the Tag Library you are interested in (like plus the directory name, plus the item name.

For versions 1.1d1 and earlier:

You can build a URL to a specific page in one of the Tag Libraries. First, start with the base URL for the Tag Library. For example for the 0.4 Journal Publishing Tag Library, use "".

To go directly to an element page, add "?elem={elementname}" to the end of the base URL.

So, will take you to the new <name-alternatives> element page.

To go directly to an attribute page, add "?attr={attributename}" to the end of the base URL.

So, will take you to the @glyph-data attribute page.