This specification has been replaced by Mallard 1.1.

The cite element provides information about the source of a quote or a comment element.


  • The cite element can contain a mixture of text and any general inline elements.

  • The cite element can occur in a block quote element or a comment element.

  • The style attribute takes a space-separated list of style hints. Processing tools should adjust their behavior according to those style hints they understand.

  • The date attribute provides specifies the date that the corresponding remark was made. For quotations, it will frequently be simply a year.

  • The href attribute provides a URL to identify the entity being cited. It will frequently be a mailto: URL with a person's email address.

  • The cite element can have attributes from external namespaces. See External Namespaces for more information on external-namespace attributes.


Add an attribution to a block quote:

  <cite>Henry David Thoreau</cite>
  <p>Our life is frittered away by detail.... Simplify, simplify.</p>

Our life is frittered away by detail.... Simplify, simplify.

Henry David Thoreau

Specify who made an editorial comment:

  <title>Mallards Are Dabbling Ducks</title>
  <cite date="2009-05-07" href="">Drake</cite>
  <p>The information in this section is wrong.  Mallards are dabbling
  ducks, not diving ducks.</p>

Mallards Are Dabbling Ducks

from Drake on 2009-05-07

The information in this section is wrong. Mallards are dabbling ducks, not diving ducks.

Processing Expectations

The cite element is generally display offset from its surrounding content to make its role clear. Specific processing depends on context. See the processing expectations for the quote and comment elements for more details.

Comparison to Other Formats

When used in a quote element, the cite element is similar to the attribution element in DocBook. DocBook does not provide an element to specify an attribution for editorial comments using the remark element.

DITA does not provide an element to specify attributions on either the lq or the draft-comment element. The cite element in Mallard is not equivalent to the cite element in DITA.


The formal definition of the Mallard language is maintained in RELAX NG Compact Syntax in code blocks within this specification. This is the formal definition for the cite element. The namespace declarations for this definition are on the page Pages.

mal_block_cite = element cite {
mal_block_cite_attr = (
  attribute style { xsd:NMTOKENS } ?,
  attribute date { text } ?,
  attribute href { text } ?,
  mal_attr_external *
mal_block_cite_inline = mal_inline
© 2008-2011 Shaun McCance
cc-by-sa 3.0 (us)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

As a special exception, the copyright holders give you permission to copy, modify, and distribute the example code contained in this document under the terms of your choosing, without restriction.

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