The Archiving and Interchange Tag Set defines elements and attributes that describe the content and metadata of journal articles, including research articles; subject-review articles; non-research articles; letters; editorials; book, software, and product reviews; peer reviews, and author responses included with an article. The Tag Set allows for descriptions of the full article content or just the article header metadata.

The intent of the Archiving Tag Set is to provide a standardized format in which to preserve the intellectual content of previously-published journal articles, capture structural and semantic components, and provide a single format into which content from many providers can be translated easily, with minimal loss.

This focus on being a conversion target for multiple sources has made this Tag Set a large and inclusive one. The Tag Set includes many loose structures—including some with nearly all content structures optional—and many elements that were created explicitly to avoid discarding information tagged by users when the material is converted into this Tag Set from another format. Most of the attribute values in the Tag Set are character data values, accommodating any source value. Care has also been taken to provide several mechanisms (for example, user-defined name/value pairs in the metadata and information-classing attributes for many structural elements) to preserve the intellectual content of a document structure when that structure is converted from another tag set or schema to this one and there is no exact element equivalent of the structural or semantic element.

Although the presentation order (reading order) of a published journal article cannot always be preserved—particularly within the metadata—the Archiving Tag Set provides the most flexibility of all the NISO JATS Tag Sets allowing for preservation of observed content without resorting to stylesheets or generation of textual elements. For that reason, labels, numbers, symbols of tables, figures, sidebars, and the like can be recorded as elements, as can the punctuation and spaces inside bibliographic references and lists.

This Tag Set describes an article model that is an easy conversion target for content originally tagged in other article models.