Summary

Structure bibliographies using sections and lists to simplify access to the references.

Techniques

Examples

Example 1 — Simple bibliography

If a bibliography does not contain many entries, only a single list is necessary.

<section epub:type="bibliography">
   <h1>Bibliography</h1>
   <dl>
     <dt>[pub-manfest]</dd>
     <dd></dd>
     …
   </dl>
</section>

Example 2 — Bibliography with sections of references

If a bibliography is split into topics, the section element can be used to group the entries.

<section epub:type="bibliography">
   <h2>Bibliography</h2>
   
   <section>
     <h3>Normative References</h3>
     <dl>
       <dt>ARIA</dt>
       <dd>…</dd>
       …
     </dl>
   </section>
    
   <section>
     <h3>Informative References</h3>
     …
   </section>
   …
</section>

Example 2 — Bibliography with grouped references

If a bibliography is grouped alphabetically, the section element can be used to group the entries. Use either an explicit heading (h1 to h6) or an implied one (aria-label.

<section epub:type="bibliography">
   <h1>Bibliography</h1>
   
   <section aria-label="A">
     …
   </section>
    
   <section aria-label="B">
     …
   </section>
   …
</section>

Explanation

Bibliographies should be marked up using list elements. Definition lists are commonly used, as the term element (dt) is useful for highlighting the label used in the text. Unordered lists are also commonly used when bibliographies are converted from a print source. The alphabetization of entries does not infer sequential order (e.g., the bibliography can be reverse sorted without losing meaning).

Use section elements to group alphabetically- and numerically-related entries and/or if the bibliography is split up topically (e.g., normative and informative references). The aria-label attribute can be attached to the enclosing section to include a title if the sections do not have headings (i.e., if space is used to separate the groups).

The use of lists is recommended as it simplifies navigation by users of assistive technologies. Not only does it speed up the movement through entries, but the position within the list can be announced, allowing the user to quickly return to the same spot again later, if needed.

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