Name of Person (Unstructured)

Container element for personal names captured with mixed-content where the order of the name components is not enforced.


This is a very loose element, which may contain text, numbers, special characters, generated text, and any or all of the naming elements, such as <surname>.

Best Practice: Although the schemas do not enforce it, for typical western names (for which the surname and given names are both known) the <string-name> element should be used only within a <name-alternatives> wrapper, for use when a name is being provided in more than one language. A <string-name> element should not be used for the primary name whenever the name can be described in the ordinary way.

Related Essay: For a discussion on the use of <string-name>, see Personal Names in Citations.

Usage: If the name parts are unknown or untagged, put the whole name within the <string-name> element, for example, <string-name>Ice Cube</string-name>. Use of the <string-name> element is more likely to lead to better searching in a repository than merely leaving the person’s name untagged.

Since the <string-name> model permits the tagging of name parts within it, a name like “Prince Charles” could be tagged as a given name “Charles” (<given-names>) and prefix “Prince” (<prefix>), but such tagging is likely to be rare and <string-name>Prince Charles</string-name> is also valid tagging.

Examples of when name parts might be usefully tagged inside <string-name> include:


content-type Type of Content
name-style Name Style
specific-use Specific Use
xml:lang Language

Content Model

<!ELEMENT  string-name  (#PCDATA %string-name-elements;)*            >

Expanded Content Model

(#PCDATA | degrees | given-names | prefix | surname | suffix)*


Any combination of:

This element may be contained in:

<element-citation>, <mixed-citation>, <name-alternatives>, <person-group>, <principal-award-recipient>, <principal-investigator>, <product>, <related-article>, <related-object>


<ref id="B6">
<article-title>Meta-analysis in clinical trials
<source>Controlled Clin Trials</source>:
<volume>7</volume>; <year iso-8601-date="1986">1986</year>;
<fpage>177</fpage>-<lpage>188</lpage> [
<pub-id pub-id-type="pmid">3802833</pub-id>].