Accessible Publishing Knowledge Base

Bibliographies

Summary

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Techniques

Examples

Example 1 — Bibliography using unordered list
<section epub:type="bibliography">
   <h1>Bibliography</h1>
   <ul>
     <li></li>
     <li></li>
     …
   </ul>
</section>
Example 2 — Bibliography using sections
<section epub:type="bibliography">
   <h1>Bibliography</h1>
   
   <section>
     <h3>A</h3>
     <ul>
       <li></li>
       …
     </ul>
   </section>
    
   <section title="B">
     …
   </section>
   …
</section>
Example 3 — Bibliography using definition list
<section epub:type="bibliography">
   <h1>Bibliography</h1>
   <dl>
     <dt></dt>
     <dd></dd>
     …
   </dl>
</section>

Explanation

Bibliographies should be marked up using list elements. Unordered lists are appropriate for traditional print bibliographies, as the alphabetization of entries does not infer sequential order (e.g., the bibliography can be reverse sorted without losing meaning). Definition lists can also be used for non-traditional layouts (e.g., for web link-based bibliographies).

The section element containing the bibliography should be identified using the epub:type attribute with the property bibliography.

To faciliate navigating a bibliography, use nested section elements to enclose alphabetically- and numerically-related entries. The title attribute can be attached to the enclosing section to include a title if the sections do not have headings.

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.

References