specific-use Specific Use

Specifies distinctions in the applicability of a particular element.


This Tag Set does not limit the uses of the @specific-use attribute. For example, @specific-use could be used to mark content (such as a paragraph, note, or section) that:
  • only appears in one format (“web-only”, “print-only”, “voice-only”, “electronic-only”);
  • is intended for a particular audience (the content “for-teachers” versus the content “for-students”, or the various contents “for-doctors”, “for-nurses”, and “for-the-patient”);
  • is organization-sensitive material (“company-only” or “limited-distribution”) and thus not shown to all audiences;
  • has a specific use that cannot be determined from the content of the material, for example, is part of continuing medical or legal education (“CME”); or
  • contains an accessibility alternative that screen readers can “read” but that visual display devices will ignore. (See also the @alt attribute.)
No particular processing or display is promised by the values of this attribute; it is up to the users’ application to make any appropriate display versions. This attribute can be used to create some of the old SGML functionality of using Marked Sections within text.

Best Practice

This attribute is not used to make semantic distinctions; the attribute @content-type is more appropriate to distinguish, for example, “skeletal” system material, “circulatory” system material, and “lymphatic” system material, or “legal” material from “engineering” material. The @specific-use attribute is used to make usage or processing distinctions, for example, audience or sorting distinctions. The attributes can be used together, for example, to mark “content-type="dosage" specific-use="for-the-patient"”. The attribute can also be used in combination with the @xml:lang attribute to indicate, for example, that a name given in a second language is a transliteration of the primary name. This attribute is not appropriate for differences in appearance; the element <styled-content> is typically better for that use. Nor should this attribute be used to record lifecycle or version distinctions.
OPTIONAL on many elements; click for list and usage

<abbrev>, <abstract>, <access-date>, <ack>, <addr-line>, <address>, <aff>, <ali:free_to_read>, <ali:license_ref>, <alt-text>, <alt-title>, <annotation>, <anonymous>, <answer>, <answer-set>, <app>, <app-group>, <array>, <article>, <article-version>, <attrib>, <author-comment>, <award-group>, <award-id>, <bio>, <bold>, <boxed-text>, <caption>, <chapter-title>, <chem-struct>, <chem-struct-wrap>, <city>, <code>, <collab>, <comment>, <conf-acronym>, <conf-date>, <conf-loc>, <conf-name>, <conf-num>, <conf-sponsor>, <conf-theme>, <conference>, <contrib>, <contrib-group>, <contrib-id>, <contributed-resource-group>, <copyright-holder>, <copyright-statement>, <copyright-year>, <country>, <custom-meta>, <custom-meta-group>, <data-title>, <date>, <date-in-citation>, <day>, <def>, <def-item>, <def-list>, <degrees>, <disp-formula>, <disp-formula-group>, <disp-quote>, <edition>, <element-citation>, <elocation-id>, <email>, <era>, <etal>, <explanation>, <ext-link>, <fax>, <fig>, <fixed-case>, <fn>, <fn-group>, <fpage>, <funding-group>, <funding-source>, <funding-statement>, <glossary>, <gov>, <graphic>, <index-term>, <inline-formula>, <inline-graphic>, <inline-media>, <inline-supplementary-material>, <institution>, <institution-id>, <isbn>, <issn>, <issn-l>, <issue>, <issue-id>, <issue-part>, <issue-title>, <italic>, <journal-id>, <kwd-group>, <license>, <license-p>, <list>, <list-item>, <long-desc>, <lpage>, <media>, <mixed-citation>, <monospace>, <month>, <name>, <named-content>, <nlm-citation>, <object-id>, <on-behalf-of>, <open-access>, <option>, <overline>, <p>, <page-range>, <part-title>, <patent>, <person-group>, <phone>, <postal-code>, <prefix>, <preformat>, <price>, <principal-award-recipient>, <principal-investigator>, <private-char>, <product>, <pub-id>, <publisher-loc>, <publisher-name>, <question>, <question-preamble>, <question-wrap>, <question-wrap-group>, <rb>, <ref>, <ref-list>, <related-article>, <related-object>, <resource-group>, <resource-id>, <resource-name>, <role>, <roman>, <rt>, <ruby>, <sans-serif>, <sc>, <season>, <sec>, <see>, <see-also>, <self-uri>, <series>, <size>, <source>, <speaker>, <speech>, <state>, <statement>, <std>, <std-organization>, <strike>, <string-date>, <string-name>, <styled-content>, <sub>, <subj-group>, <subtitle>, <suffix>, <sup>, <supplement>, <supplementary-material>, <support-description>, <support-group>, <support-source>, <table>, <table-wrap>, <target>, <term>, <textual-form>, <time-stamp>, <title>, <trans-source>, <trans-title>, <underline>, <uri>, <verse-group>, <verse-line>, <version>, <volume>, <volume-id>, <volume-series>, <xref>, <year>

Value Meaning
Text, numbers, or special characters A specific distinction in the applicability of a particular element, for example, “print-only”.
Restriction @specific-use is an optional attribute; there is no default.
Related Resources