<supplementary-material> Supplementary Material

Container element for a description of, and possibly a pointer to, external resources that support the standards document, but which are not part of the content of the standard.


Supplemental material is used to add detail, background, or context to a standards document by providing, for example, multimedia objects such as audio clips and applets; additional XML-tagged sections, tables, or figures; raw data in a spreadsheet; or a software application in a repository. Supplementary material includes resources such as the following:
  • Voluminous material (such as a materials database or the multiple data sets behind a standard that references the highlights of those datasets) that supports the conclusions of the narrative but can never accompany a standard based on sheer mass;
  • “Extra” tables that do not display with the work, but that record the measurements on which the standard is based;
  • Adjunctive material, for example: X-rays, blue prints, gauges, discs, etc. that cannot be included in the body of the standards document for physical reasons;
  • Material added to the work for enhancement purposes, such as a quiz, an instructional video, the 3-minute version of the reaction that was described in the work with narrative and a few still images, a form that can be filled out or copied, or similar material; or
  • A movie, MP3 file, or other binary material that is not directly part of the content of the standards document.
An object that cannot be fully represented in print (such as a movie, sound file, or animation) should not automatically be considered supplemental. If the object is necessary for understanding the standard (in other words, the object is “integral” as defined by NISO RP-15-2013, discussed below), it should be tagged at the appropriate location in the text using the <media> element.
Contents of the Supplementary Material Element
The <supplementary-material> element does not contain the supplementary object(s), even if the objects are expressed in XML; supplementary objects are external to the XML standards document rather than part of the XML standards document. The <supplementary-material> element contains descriptions of the object(s), and it may also, but is not required to, contain a pointer to the objects(s). For example, if the supplementary object is an additional graphic, that graphic is described in the supplementary material but not held there. The <graphic> element that is permissible inside <supplementary-material> is intended for a description of an object, not to hold the object. For example, a <supplementary-material> element could contain a description of an animation, including the first frame of the animation (tagged as a <graphic> element), a caption describing the animation, and a cross-reference made to the external file that holds the full animation.
The @mimetype attribute may be used to identify a file type for a <supplementary-material> element.
Related Elements
The NISO STS Tag Sets contain several elements that describe and point to non-XML material: <graphic>, <inline-graphic>, <media>, <supplementary-material>, and <inline-supplementary-material>. The elements <graphic> and <inline-graphic> contain a pointer to a still image (such as a photograph, diagram, line drawing, etc.) that is part of the document. The element <media> contains a pointer to a non-XML, frequently binary, object (such as a movie, audio clip, dataset, or other non-XML format) that is integral to the document’s content, where “integral” means that the media object is discussed within (and possibly displayed within) the document; the media object is part of the document.
In contrast, the elements <supplementary-material> and <inline-supplementary-material> are used to describe either XML material (such as figures, tables, and sections) or non-XML material (such as graphics, films, audio clips, datasets, or other material) that are considered to be “additional material” (non-integral) accompanying a document. Like <graphic>, <inline-graphic>, and <media>, the supplementary material elements never contain the object they describe, even if it is an XML object such as a figure, although they may point to it.
The element <inline-supplementary-material> is used to mark up a reference to additional material, where the reference appears within the regular flow of the text and does not have a preview image or separate caption. The <supplementary-material> element is used to describe a more complicated reference, where the description of the supplementary object resembles a figure in that it can be positioned as a floating or anchored object and may take a caption.

Base Attributes

Linking Attributes

xlink:type (fixed value = simple)


xmlns:xlink (fixed value = http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink)
Models and Context
May be contained in
Content Model
<!ELEMENT  supplementary-material
                        %supplementary-material-model;               >
Expanded Content Model

((editing-instruction)*, (object-id)*, label?, (caption)?, (legend)*, (kwd-group)*, (subj-group)*, (alt-text | long-desc | email | ext-link | uri)*, (disp-formula | disp-formula-group | chem-struct-wrap | fn-group | fn | disp-quote | speech | statement | table-wrap | p | normative-note | non-normative-note | normative-example | non-normative-example | notes-group | def-list | list | alternatives | array | code | graphic | media | preformat)*, (attrib | permissions)*)

Tagged Sample

<supplementary-material> structure describing a supplementary resource

 <fig id="F1">...</fig>
 <supplementary-material id="S1" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"
   xlink:title="local_file" xlink:href="1471-2105-1-1-s1.pdf"
  <label>Additional material</label>
   <p>Supplementary PDF file supplied by authors.</p>
 <p>RNAPs seem to have arisen twice in evolution
  (see the <inline-supplementary-material
  xlink:title="local_file" xlink:href="timeline">
  Timeline</inline-supplementary-material>. A large
  family of multisubunit RNAPs includes bacterial
  enzymes, archeal enzymes, eukaryotic nuclear RNAPs,
  plastid-encoded chloroplast RNAPs, and RNAPs from
  some eukaryotic viruses. ...</p>
Related Resources