Headed group of material; the basic structural unit of the body of a document.


A very short article may contain nothing but paragraphs (and other paragraph-level elements such as figures and tables), but most journal articles are divided into sections, each with a title that describes the content of the section, such as “Introduction”, “Methodology”, or “Conclusions”.

A section must have some sort of title, so that, for example, a Table of Contents can be automatically generated. Therefore, this Tag Set requires that a section be tagged with (minimally) either a <title> or a <label>. A section may be tagged with both.

Sections are recursive, that is, various levels of sections are indicated by containment, not by different names for the subsections. A <sec> element may contain lower level sections that are also tagged using the <sec> element, not tagged explicitly as <sec2>, <sec3>, or <subsec1>, etc.

Common Practice: The <sec> element can be used within <back> to tag material that has not been explicitly named as one of the other back matter components, that is, it is not named as an appendix, an acknowledgment, a glossary, etc. For example, tables are frequently placed in the back matter, with no other designation than a label such as “Table 6”, or a title such as “Epochs of Geologic Time”.


id Identifier
sec-type Type of Section
specific-use Specific Use
xml:lang Language

Content Model

<!ELEMENT  sec          %sec-model;                                  >

Expanded Content Model

(sec-meta?, ((label, title?) | title), (address | alternatives | array | boxed-text | chem-struct-wrap | fig | fig-group | graphic | media | preformat | supplementary-material | table-wrap | table-wrap-group | disp-formula | disp-formula-group | def-list | list | tex-math | mml:math | p | related-article | related-object | disp-quote | speech | statement | verse-group)*, (sec)*, (fn-group | glossary | ref-list)*)


The following, in order:

This element may be contained in:

<abstract>, <ack>, <app>, <back>, <bio>, <body>, <boxed-text>, <notes>, <sec>, <trans-abstract>


<sec sec-type="intro">
<p>Geriatric day hospitals developed rapidly in the United Kingdom
in the 1960s as an important component of care provision. The model
has since been widely applied in several Western countries. Day
hospitals provide multidisciplinary assessment and rehabilitation
in an outpatient setting and have a pivotal position between hospital
and home based services .... We therefore undertook a systematic
review of the randomized trials of day hospital care.</p>
<sec sec-type="methods">
<p>The primary question addressed was ....</p>
<title>Inclusion criteria</title>
<p>We set out to identify all ....</p>
<title>Search strategy</title>
<p>We searched for ....</p>